Negotiating for a higher salary can derive two outcomes – you either achieve the salary hike or you don’t get what you wanted. There doesn’t exist a middle way as such. There are several aspects that go into negotiating a successful salary hike, and more often than not, people find themselves making one mistake too many.
Eliminating these mistakes in your negotiation will most likely see you getting that magical number you’ve been eagerly expecting.
Here are a few points you should keep in mind and avoid when negotiating your salary.
1. Not being prepared
It may seem a bit obvious but if you land up at an interview without having prepared for it, you may end up negotiating the wrong numbers. Being prepared means that you have gone through the role you are expected to fulfill and that you are aware of the industry standard, in terms of salaries, when it comes to that role.
Being prepared also means you know just where you stand in terms of salary expectations and won’t make any of the mistakes that follow.
2. Not getting the timing right while negotiating
If you are looking for a substantial salary hike, getting the timing right is more important than you think. It is important that you wait and begin negotiating your hike only after you’ve been shortlisted and you’ve achieved a good build up towards the negotiation phase by being active in discussions and show adequate interest to take up the job.
3. Asking for too much
It is a given that you are going to try and ask for a package higher than the one you are already on but you could go wrong by going too high too. If you ask for too much, the interviewer is likely to reconsider hiring you based on their own requirements and budgets. Not to mention it will become that much tougher for you to convince them that you are worth such a big raise.
4. Asking for too little
While this may not always have a negative impact on your employability it could have a negative impact on your finances. If you ask for a package that is too small for the job you are interviewing for, you stand a good chance of ending up being unhappy with your salary; leading to an unhappy time at the job. The worst case scenario would be that the interviewer could get the impression that you have not done your homework and might reject your candidature.
5. Not emphasizing enough on your own skills
Your skills are your trump card. If you do not lay sufficient emphasis on your skills while negotiating your salary, you’ll most likely see yourself not getting the hike you wanted. In most cases, people get caught up in the conversation and very rarely realize that they are placing unnecessary emphasis on an array of other aspects that don’t really work well in influencing the salary hike.
Stress on your strong points – this will also enable the employer to understand your value more clearly. Moreover, skill sets are a strong point in salary negotiations and laying emphasis on the strength of your skills means that you are negotiating from a position of strength.
When done right, this is going to be crucial if you have made the mistake of asking for too much or too little in your salary negotiations.
6. Getting fixated on a number
If you have been offered a sum that is not as high as you were expecting, you should definitely try to negotiate but be careful with this one. If you and the future employer are unwilling to come to terms, you may lose the opportunity. What you can do instead is to try and negotiate on other things like vacation time or performance incentives.
7. Giving up too early
Jumping on the first offer made to you is also a mistake to avoid. This can happen if you have been offered a number slightly higher than what you were expecting. Think about it, if they are willing to offer this much, could negotiating not improve it further? On the other hand, if you have been offered a number below your expectations, just accepting it or rejecting the offer outright, would be a mistake. Once again, a bit of negotiating could work in your favour.
8. Too much arguing
An offer and a counteroffer are accepted parts of any salary negotiation but if you are going to sit there and make counteroffer after counteroffer, it would be a mistake. There is such a thing as over-negotiating and it can work against you. Pick an offer that you feel is fair, select reasons to support that offer and let that be it.
Instead of making offer after offer, only to have it rejected, why not ask for some time to consider making a decision. Decide on a timeline, go home, think the offers and counteroffers through and then reply with your offer.
Every interview will be a bit different from the last one you gave but so long as you keep these points in mind, you should be fine. The most important thing to keep in mind is that no matter what happens, stay cool and work your way through the situation.
How have your experiences with salary negotiation been like? Do you have any tips to share?
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