When you’re going into a salary negotiation for the first time, it can be quite intimidating and you might feel a little bit lost. You don’t necessarily have the same frame of reference that you would if you had been in the job for an extended period of time, and you simply don’t have the experience of negotiating. Meanwhile, you might be entering into a room with someone who does this weekly.
A lot of new hires accept a low-paying job because they are not aware of what they could ask for during the salary negotiation period. You might also just be grateful for the opportunity, but it is key that you don’t do yourself an injustice.
Everyone’s got to live, and you should try and get the best salary possible. With that in mind, here are some tips to put in practice when negotiating your first salary.
Do a Deep Dive in Your Research
You probably already know that research is vital when it comes to working out what to ask for during your salary negotiation. This is especially true for a first job.
Google can be really helpful, but it is also not the only thing to consider. In fact, a lot of information you’ll find online is not specific to your location or company.
Some added extras you can do when researching is to spend time looking for similar roles advertised in the region, and also try to tap into your network of friends and acquaintances.
For example, you could always email your past professors who work in your field to see if they have advice on salary requests.
Ask for More Than You Would Accept
This is just how negotiations work. If you go in asking for the salary you would accept then it is unlikely that you will be offered this amount.
Your starting point should be a bit higher, so that you can hopefully settle on an amount you are happy with rather than having to compromise.
Consider Benefits and Company Perks
A lot of people think of the salary as the only measure of their job’s salary. This is quite short-sighted.
There are a lot of other aspects that should come into your thinking. Some of these are offered by the company whereas others might just be circumstantial. For example, if a job is closer to your home it might be preferable to one with an hour commute.
A lot of jobs have benefits that you can take advantage of as well. For example, you might get company discounts or more paid vacation time. Other companies offer help with student loan repayments and perks like free lunch.
Benefits like flex time or even the opportunity to earn more via commissions may make a salary more appealing. The base salary could be lower, but you still might be drawn to the job for the extra time off or other added benefits an employer can offer you. It’s not a substitute for money, but it helps and should be considered when deciding what to ask for during a salary negotiation.
Try to Be Confident During Your Salary Negotiation
When you go into the salary negotiation itself, it is very important to try and appear confident. This isn’t always easy. It takes a specific set of skills to be good at negotiating, and if you haven’t done it much in your life then you may not have acquired those skills.
Confidence is definitely a part of psychology. Not arrogance, just confidence that you and the skillset you bring to the company are worthwhile.
One way you can be more confident is to prepare ahead of time so you know what to say during the interview. You can run through salary negotiation scenarios with friends. Also, if you end up going to multiple interviews with salary negotiations, you may naturally get better at it.
Don’t Worry Too Much About Being Judged
When it becomes time to negotiate the salary, a lot of people think more about not wanting to annoy anyone. Of course, it’s not great if you are brazen or arrogant in the negotiation. The best thing to be is firm and self-assured. Try to take what others will think of you out of your mind.
Ultimately, a good negotiator shouldn’t judge you for trying to get what is best for you and your family. In fact, it can have the opposite effect. In certain roles, being resolute is important for the job itself. If you can demonstrate that you are capable of being so then your future boss might even be impressed.
Be fair — but don’t crumble because you want people to like you. We have all got to earn a living.
Salary Negotiation Tips Conclusion
Some of us are natural negotiators while some of us are not. It might not be something you have to do regularly throughout your life, and you might not relish the challenge.
However, when it comes to salary negotiations, this could be worth tens of thousands of dollars over the course of your career, so doing plenty of research and developing some negotiation skills is essential before you go into your interview process.