Friday, December 7, 2012

4 Ways To Mishandle Salary Negotiations

Job interviews are tough, but salary negotiations can make them look like a walk in the park. One small misstep in the process and you could find yourself without that job offer.

Many job seekers know what they want in terms of salary and benefits, but are hesitant to say it for fear of pricing themselves out of the job. That is certainly a legitimate concern, but it's one that can be easily erased simply be doing your homework. Do some research to determine what the standard pay rates and perks are for the position so you know if what you are asking for is too much.

If you don't do your homework, you leave yourself at risk of mishandling the negotiations. Here are four other things to avoid:
  • Not Thinking About Yourself: If you don't think seriously about the income you need, you may end up taking a job that will leave you struggling to pay for everyday items. If the salary you need is out of line with the standard rates, look for a position that will pay you what you need.
  • Laying All Your Cards On The Table: Job interviewers will often ask you to name a specific number you have in mind, but you should always try to avoid this. Use answers such as "If I do receive an offer, I want it to be reasonable" or "I will consider any offer that fits my needs." If you are pressed for a number, give a range rather than a specific answer.
  • Neglecting To Ask About Benefits: Salary is important but you shouldn't forget to ask about what benefits you would be getting. Healthcare is especially important, given that the Affordable Care Act of 2010 requires all individuals to have coverage.
  • Not Giving A Counter-Offer: Most organizations are not going to offer you the highest salary right off the bat; that's simply not the way negotiations work. Using the knowledge you have acquired from your research, you should present a counter-offer that is fair for both you and the company.

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