Are You Making Salary Negotiation Mistakes?
One of the most uncomfortable, awkward parts of the job application process is that moment when you get the call that says you’ve got the job. Once you get that call, the negotiation phase of getting a new job begins. How much salary are you going to be able to get? Can you score some extra vacation time? Can you talk about getting more of your benefits paid for by the employer?
Because it is awkward for many, the entire process is just ignored and people take the first offer that is given to them. For others, they dive in headfirst only to find that they get a worse than base offer because they’ve made a critical error during the negotiation process.
Errors to Avoid
Some people play hard to get.
Playing hard to get during the negotiation phase might have worked a decade ago when an economic boom was going on, but most businesses have transformed themselves to be lean and mean. Jobs at their company come at a premium. You’ve likely outperformed over 100 people already to get to the negotiation phase, many of them as qualified as you. By playing hard to get, you just might find a job offer rescinded.
Some people play hardball.
The art of negotiation is that you must give something in order to get something. Some people choose to get as much as they can without ever offering anything in return. If having extra time off during the year is important to you because you want to spend time with your family, for example, conceding some salary in return could help you achieve what you want. The approach should be a win/win for each party, not just a “win” for you.
You can’t support your position
It seems like an easy thing to do during the negotiation phase: lie. A small misrepresentation of your position might seem like a good idea so that you can have some leverage, but 100% of the time that will come back to bite you. As soon as you can’t support the position you’ve established, you’ve lost. That might mean having a lower salary, the loss of a job… or even being charged with a felony. Just don’t do it.
Some expectations just aren’t realistic
Before you enter into a negotiation for your future job, you need to have a realistic idea of what you may be able to get. That means you’ll need to research the company, look at salary structures, and ask people questions who may be in similar positions in other organizations in your community. The more information you have before entering into a negotiation, the more likely you’ll be to find success.
Most of All, Don’t Go Into a Negotiation Unprepared
The worst thing you can do is to go into a negotiation with a blank slate. An employer will recognize this and either A) take advantage of it so they don’t have to pay you a comparable wage and benefits; or B) decide that you’re not worth their time since you didn’t bother to put in any work to negotiate. If you focus on getting what you want while being willing to compromise to create a win/win situation, you’ll be a happy, employed individual.