Package negotiations typically occur after you have received a job offer from a prospective employer. Despite the fact you have received an offer (congratulations!), negotiating salary and benefits can be one of the most stressful aspects of finding and obtaining a job. The following are some tips for effective salary negotiations.
Research Typical Package Levels
Do you know the typical salary range for the position and industry to which you are applying? Remember that pay scales can vary geographically, reflecting the cost of living of the company/organization’s location. There are several means for finding out about salaries and benefits for different positions and professions. Some readily available resources include on-line salary surveys, association salary surveys, information from the U.S. Department of Labor, and current books, which describe careers in your particular field. Additionally, you can peruse local want ads for equivalent positions to the one you are applying to, to informally gather salary data. Ask people in your professional network what they know of salaries and benefits will provide insight into what kind of offer you might expect from your prospective employer, and will assist you in negotiation a reasonable agreement, because you have concrete data to support your request/expectations.
Understand Your Acceptable Range
Try to develop a goal for your desired salary, given the realistic “typical” salary for the position, your special qualifications and your particular needs. (Avoid applying for positions where you won’t be able to survive given the realistic pay range for the position. Though this may seem obvious, some people become fearful that the job offer they are debating will be the only one they’ll receive. This results in becoming seriously conflicted as to how to proceed, when the situation could have been avoided by being more judicious in the job search process.) Remember to consider the non-salary benefits of the position: medical/health coverage, maternity leave & child care, vacation, opportunities for continued training and professional development activities, stock options, retirement plans, etc.
Be Prepared to Justify Your Expectations
When your perspective employer asks for your salary expectations, be prepared to support your suggestion with real information. This involves incorporating your understanding of the typical pay range (what you could get from competitors) and also reminding the prospective employer of the value you would add to their organization/company. Essentially, this means the “market value” of what you do. Your negotiating position is best supported not by “because I need it” but because of what you offer in return for the pay- why the prospective employer needs YOU.