Salary negotiations is a critical part of the job search process. You want to negotiate salary from a position of strength. There are some common mistakes you should avoid when you negotiate salary for your next job. Making a good salary can give you the freedom to do so many things. It can help you pay off debt, travel more, save for retirement or a rainy day and stop worrying so much about your financial situation.
Less Is More
Typically, a recruiter or hiring manager will ask what your current salary is. They do that so they can determine what’s the lowest salary they can offer you to take the job. There are rules surrounding asking salary information but not everyone in positions of authority are aware of that and some disregard it entirely. So that means you are both at different ends of the spectrum. You want to make as much as possible and they want to be as profitable as possible which may mean paying you as little as possible.
Do your best to avoid answering the salary range question. Whoever speaks first, loses the negotiation so to speak. If they raise the salary question, turn it around and ask them what salary range they have in mind for the position. It’s their job to make the offer, not yours. If you make the first move, you lose your position of strength.
Honesty Without Playing All Your Cards
If you have another job offer, it’s a good idea to share that information and ask for their timeframe in making a decision if you are at the final stage. If you are less than thrilled about this job offer, no need to share that with them. It’s always good to show that you are a sought after candidate without being boastful in your communications. Typically, don’t share the company name especially if that company is not an industry leader. Always be truthful but don’t over share. Don’t say you have a job offer if you don’t and don’t lie about your current salary.
If an offer is extended, show enthusiasm and appreciation but let them know you will need a couple of days to think it over. I think about that Seinfeld episode when Kramer sued the coffee company because the coffee was too hot. They said something to the effect of “We want to offer you free coffee for life AND”; before they even finished making the better part of the offer, he accepted. That’s what you want to avoid. It’s striking a balance of showing interest but not appearing overly eager or desperate.
It’s like a chess match or a dance and you should give them the opportunity to lay their cards before the negotiations begin. We all want to make more money of course. It’s critical that you are valued and compensated in accordance with your worth. Certainly, there are many factors to consider with a job offer. When you negotiate salary, although it can be a bit awkward at times, it’s a key piece of the job search process so be prepared.