Friday, August 10, 2012

Negotiating Salary

A co-worker once told me that one should never accept the first salary offer.  His advice made sense, as even the experts at agree that no matter how good the salary is, one should always hesitate before accepting it  (See here).

However, when I got a job offer a few months later, I found that salary negotiation is easier said than done.  After all, a job is not really yours until all the papers are signed (just google “Job offered then withdrawn” to read all of the horror stories of this very plausible scenario).  Therefore at the end of the day, is it even worth it to negotiate your salary?

As per’s Finance Career Expert, Dona DeZube, some believe that you should take the first offer if you are happy with it.  One should not negotiate just for the sake of negotiation; individuals should have a justifiable reason for why they believe they should be paid more than what was offered.   Other experts go as far as saying that salary negotiation is a waste of time given that some employers will not budge from their initial offer.  Furthermore, as stated above, salary negotiation can even be a risk since it allows for the job offer that was once yours to be open to other candidates.

Alternatively, however, there are many reasons for why salaries should be negotiated.  According to DeZube, some experts believe that if you are at a stage where an employer is negotiating salary with you, then most likely that employer wants you as part of their organization.  Moreover, some employers even expect you to negotiate the salary with them!  For example, when it comes to positions such as sales and business development, where negotiation is key, it is to the candidate’s advantage to demonstrate his/her negotiation skills when talking money.

So, now that we have weighed the pros and cons of salary negotiation, how exactly would one go about negotiating salary? posted a video featuring personnel consultant Pat Goodwin of  She offers great tips.  Check out the video bellow:

In addition, keep in mind these three tips offered by

  1. Research your value: Find out what companies in your area are paying for the job you are considering.
  2. Don’t be the first to disclose a number: Get the employer to disclose the pay before you discuss your requirements.
  3. Prepare a counteroffer: Ask for what you want!

Just DON’T make these mistakes:

    1. Accept the first salary offer:  By doing so you may be leaving money on the table.  *Just be careful not to give an ultimatum unless you are willing to walk away without the job.*
    2. Not be prepared:  Know what is relevant to your labor market
    3. Neglect to negotiate things beyond base pay:  There’s more than just a base salary, such as variable pay, performance expectations, benefits, perquisites, schedule for salary increase, and minimum severance. Negotiate these as well.

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