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Salary Negotiation

Begin the negotiation process by asking if the job offer is negotiable. Once you have determined that it can be adjusted through negotiations, do your homework. Have a good, sound reason for negotiating.

Prepare data to substantiate your request, so you don't simply appear greedy. The goal to negotiating to come to an agreement that feels fair to both parties. It is important to remember that the negotiations could end with you getting everything you want, some of what you want, nothing of what you want, or even withdrawal of the offer. If an offer is altered to meet your requests, be prepared to accept an offer soon after your negotiations are completed.

Begin negotiations by expressing your sincere interest in working for that organization. Be confident and assured that your requests are based upon the needs of the organization and how your work can provide value for that organization. Speak convincingly of your accomplishments, give substantive illustrations from your past experience, and speak to your qualifications compared to other candidates.

Look at the entire compensation package when negotiating your offer. Areas in addition to salary that may be included in your negotiations include:

  • Signing Bonus
  • Vacation
  • Moving Allowance
  • Stock Options

A stock options benefit, the opportunity to buy stock in a company, lets you profit from the value that you have helped create in that company. For this benefit you need to be "vested" in the company which means you need to stay with that company for a certain amount of time before you can exercise your options and buy the stock. When you exercise your right to buy your options, you buy stock at a set, or strike price, which is the value of the company stock when you began working for the company. If the market value of the stock is greater than the strike price, the value of the option is the difference between the market price and the strike price. If the market value of the stock is less than the strike price the value of the option is 0.

Express to the employer the areas you wish to negotiate and explain why you are asking for an increase in a particular benefit or want to have an additional benefit added to your offer. Perhaps you feel that some of your work experience was not considered in determining your salary offer, or your salary offer does not compare favorably with other offers you have received. If the organization cannot offer more salary, perhaps additional vacation, a signing bonus, or moving expenses could be added or increased instead.

When negotiating salary, be sure to compare companies in like industries and locations. A manufacturing salary may not equal a consulting salary. Be certain your desired salary is in the appropriate range for:

By studying your own needs, the needs of the organization extending you the offer, the current market and approaching the employer in a confident, assured manner, you will be well on your way to a successful negotiation that will be mutually beneficial to you and your future employer.