The Power of Negotiating

Negotiation is most often an intimidating word for a jobseeker. The candidate has gone through the job search, application and interview process; now he or she is expected to negotiate once an offer is on the table? In my professional opinion—it depends.

Helpful, right? I encourage you to keep reading and hear me out. In Amy Gallo’s blog article “How to Negotiate Your Next Salary,” she discusses 5 principles involved in preparing for and having a salary conversation with your potential employer following an offer. In this article, I’d like to focus on 2 of the principles mentioned—do your research and when the offer is too low.

First and foremost before having a salary discussion,  it is very important to do your research to define a reasonable salary range for a professional in your industry, in the role you are interviewing for or acting in a similar role, and one with similar education and years of experience. Going into a negotiation knowing these facts will help your nerves as well as give you the best chances of walking out the door earning a salary that is acceptable to both you and your employer.

If your prospective employer’s offer is too low—according to your research and personal needs—it is best to counter with power. By counter with power, I mean it is best to state your specific needs in numbers and to tell the employers exactly why you are requesting $3,000 more. Is it related to commute costs, increased childcare costs because you would be working longer hours, or because the offer doesn’t include heath care benefits?

Returning to my original, entirely helpful answer of “it depends”. Do you always need to negotiate the employer’s first offer as the article suggests, even if the original offer is generous or within the range you expected? I say, it depends on a variety of factors—is the original offer within the range given your previous research? Is it a generous offer, and you are actually going to be earning more than you had expected? Does the offer include additional benefits such as the option to telecommute or flexible scheduling that compensates for the $3000 salary gap? In the end, you have to make the decision for yourself, whether you are going to negotiate an offer or not. But having done your research and going into this type of conversation, will make you feel as prepared as possible.

Do you have questions when it comes to talking salary? Contact your Career Services Advisor today, or dig into the compensation and negotiation section of the Career Resource Center in CampusConnect.