Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Art Of Salary Negotiation

salary negotiation
Being passionate about an organization's missions or goals is one of the most important things a job seeker should consider when deciding whether to apply for a nonprofit job.  You then need to make sure that the job fits your skill set.  Once that is decided, it's time to turn to the reason you need a job in the first place: Money.  While some companies will list their starting salary in their job descriptions, there are many that will ask candidates to provide salary requirements in their cover letters.  Should you get chosen for an interview, you will have to get well acquainted with the art of salary negotiation.

The hardest part of negotiating a salary is asking for what you truly need.  It is common for job seekers to simply say they are "flexible" when it comes to pay.  Job seekers don't want to come off as greedy or imposing, and the thought is that being flexible with pay will help you get the job.  This couldn't be further from the truth.  Recruiters know the standard pay rate for your position, and they want to see that you know it as well.  Asking for a salary that is in line with the average salary will help your chances more than just saying you are flexible.

Nonprofit salaries vary from organization to organization.  Some might fit the stereotype of a low-paying, thankless job, but you will find that many have very competitive salaries.  Before you list your salary requirements, take a look at some nonprofit salary surveys to see what the position you are applying for generally pays.

The bottom line is you have to have a good knowledge of what you want and what you need.  You may want, for example, $50,000 a year, but you might find that is unreasonable for the position in question.  Calculate your expenses and see what kind of salary you really need.  Then, compare that with the average salary for the job you want.  You will likely be able to find a happy medium upon which both you and the employer can agree.

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