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5 Tips for Negotiating Like a Boss

What should you do when you nail the interview, get the job and your potential employer asks: “What are your salary expectations?

Tell her!

A recent poll by the Society of Human Resources Management and careerjournal.com found that most job seekers are not comfortable negotiating employment terms, especially money.  In fact, 78 percent of those polled stated that they did not like talking about money. If you are among this group, try following these tips to successfully negotiate your fist ‘real’ salary.

1. Don’t be intimidated. Be informed.

Do your research. There is no way you can be in the ballpark of an acceptable salary if you have no idea of the going rate. For some jobs, there may be little chance to negotiate your salary, like positions that have established pay scales, especially those that are published online. These would  include federal, state and local government jobs, military jobs and jobs at public schools. For most other jobs, you can determine the general pay ranges by browsing the websites, Salary.com, Payscale.com and careeronestop.org.

2. Understand the job and the employer needs.

"It is a myth that companies try to pay as little as they can to get good talent. Now they may be frugal and, to a certain extent, pay the relative market salary, but the vast majority of companies know that they get what they pay for," said Tony Beshara, president and owner of Babich &  Associates recruitment firm.

At every opportunity during the job search process be specific about the impact your accomplishments made in the past and be sure to talk about accomplishments that demonstrate the skill set the employer needs. Don't hesitate to ask the employer about the challenges, goals and upcoming projects. Then, draw the connection of how you can contribute to them, without being overly confident.

"Take your ego out of the deal. Money is usually going to take care of itself, if and only if you have presented your prospective employer with value," Beshara said

 3. Figure out what you need out of the deal.

Successful negotiating requires knowing how much you need to live comfortably. Draw up a budget or use a worksheet like ______ to figure out the high end and low end of what you can feasibly accept. Then, go a little bit higher, just in case you have to "give up a little" in the negotiation process.

Know that money isn't everything, either. Do you need access to medical, dental or vision insurance? Will the company eventually pay for continued formal education, training or licensing? Does the company have a telework policy? These benefits cost the company money and are considered a part of your compensation package. Many times they are a more than worthy tradeoff for a few extra dollars. Finally, having a job you love and opportunity for development that will help you meet your short-term goals is priceless.

4. Point out the win-win situation.

“When a company and candidate are trying to work out an equitable arrangement, it has to be a win-win for everyone,” Beshara said. “Put yourself in their shoes. See it from both your point-of-view and theirs, and then work with him or her to come to reasonable terms.”

5. Need an example of the type of email you can write to begin salary negotiations?

“Mr. or Ms. Hiring Authority, Im really excited about this job offer. Based on my research, the salary range for this type of position is _______________. Through our discussions, it sounds like we are a perfect match for at least three reasons: First, in general, my background exceeds the stated requirements of the job; second, my ________________ skills/experience will help meet the goals/challenges you mentioned during the interview (name them); and third, your company has the resources for highly self-motivated employees like myself to engage in various professional development opportunities that will benefit both of us. This is definitely a win-win situation and I am confident we can come to an agreement."

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