Salary negotiations are a part of every job, whether you’re in the first stages of the hiring process or aiming for a raise or promotion.
Even though these negotiations are done worldwide every day, most of us are uncomfortable dealing with them. As this assertiveness research shows, over half of the people feel they’ve lost out at work from not being assertive enough.
Yet, this strategy is vital if you want to ensure you’re getting the benefits and pay commensurate with what you bring to the job.
Yes, you can negotiate benefits, too. In some positions, these perks are even more valuable than a salary increase would be.
Ready to learn how to maximize your earnings? Follow these three tips before you enter the negotiating room.
1. Know Your Worth
You bring something of value to the job, or else you wouldn’t be in the negotiating stages. Exactly what the number is that equates to your value is harder to define but not impossible.
The first thing to do is to do a quick internet search on a site like Salary.com for the average pay rate for your position. Keep in mind that you must include the geographic location to get the most accurate data. What your position pays in a big city is not going to be the same as what you’d get in a small-town community.
Look at the going rate for the job in nearby areas. There might be a hefty pay increase in the next city over. If the negotiations don’t go as planned, it could be worth your time to drive an extra half hour each day for more money.
Without this research, you won’t know the fair rates to expect. Your friend in the same job in another city may be making six digits while you’re stuck in five. But you could already be earning top dollar for your location, and the only way to expect more is to move to a higher-paying region.
2. Treat Negotiation Like a Casual Discussion
There is no reason to make a conversation about salary and benefits into a courtroom-style discussion. While you want to have a professional review of your contract before you sign it, you don’t need to have your attorney present or treat the meeting like a hostage negotiation.
Just be prepared to answer questions like why you think you deserve more money or benefits. Bring a list of things you’ve done over and above your job description. Include accomplishments, awards, and continuing education your manager may not know about.
Set the meeting up for a time that’s good for both of you. If you know one or both of you are extra busy, and your conversation will be rushed, consider postponing it. You could get better results in a relaxed atmosphere.
3. Be Okay With More Benefits
Most businesses have a pre-determined budget for payroll, and it’s set once a year. It’s hard to get a raise when the payroll expenses are already at or over budget.
However, those in charge may be able to offer you other perks and benefits that are as valuable as the pay increase, like:
- PTO: If paid time off is important to you, and a pay increase isn’t possible, ask for more vacation or sick time.
- Better hours: As you go up the ladder in most industries, the newbies are the ones who get the dregs of the schedule. They’ll work 50-60 hours a week or longer or take the less-preferred shifts. Are you currently stuck in the schedule you took when you were first hired? If so, you may be able to negotiate for better hours.
- Flexible work: Is your job something you can do from home? Post-COVID, many businesses have become more flexible about letting employees spend part of their time in the office and part elsewhere. This perk could be a benefit you can negotiate in addition to, or instead of, a higher pay.
Money isn’t everything, and it’s not always worth the big paycheck if you never have time to enjoy your life. The work/life balance that comes from benefits like these is invaluable.
Remember to start high and never negotiate if you’re unwilling to walk away from the table. These simple tips will make negotiating an easier, more successful process.