Although many employers expect candidates to negotiate their benefits package, prospective employees often do not take a proactive approach to naming their salary expectations. This process can seem especially challenging and intimidating to young people early in their careers, but a little negotiation can make a big difference. The ideal time to begin negotiating benefits is between receiving the initial job offer and formally accepting it, given that you have already impressed the employer and shown that you possess the qualifications that they are seeking. Here are some tips to help you prepare for the negotiation stage upon receiving a job offer:
Review the Offer and Do Your Research
Consider the benefits package holistically. Perhaps the base salary is lower than what you were anticipating, but there may be other perks that compensate for it. Does the company offer bonuses or commissions? Recognizing that there is more to a compensation package than salary can help you determine if you are getting a fair offer. Do your research to see how your offer compares to similar ones with Payscale’s Job Offer survey.
Identify Your Top Priorities
What factors of a compensation package are most important to you? Do you place more stock in salary, healthcare coverage, and retirement plans, or do you desire a good work-life balance with things like flextime and telecommuting? Figure out what you want, and how much you want of it, and ask for it. Some experts recommend asking for slightly more than you think you need in order to leave room for compromise.
Employers are indifferent to whether the salary they offered will cover your monthly mortgage or education loan payments. If you are going to ask for better benefits, you need to show the employer that you are worth it. Use your skills and experience as leverage. How have you created value in previous jobs and internships? Do you have any unique skills that would be beneficial to the position? Be confident in your abilities and accomplishments while simultaneously being respectful, professional, and enthusiastic.
Negotiating a salary is an often-disregarded step of accepting a job offer. However, before jumping in, remember to do your research and learn a few salary negotiation tactics. Do not be apprehensive of sounding greedy – some employers view candidates with exceptional negotiation skills as high performers on the job. Best of luck negotiating!