Bridge Insights

9 Tips to Negotiate Your Salary and Compensation Package

Mar 12, 2020

All the hard work, patience, and interviewing that you have put into your job search can make finally receiving a job offer an emotional one.

For some of us, one of the emotions we feel upon securing a job offer is disappointment –not because the job isn’t what we were looking for, but because we were hoping for a bit more in the way of salary or additional vacation days.

What do you do in those situations? 

Even if you want to say something, it is not always clear how to ask, or even if it is appropriate to ask. Like shopping for a house, car or any other big-ticket item, negotiation is expected in most mid-level jobs, some entry-level jobs, and virtually all senior-level jobs.

Even though it is commonplace to negotiate compensation packages, some people will side-step the negotiation aspect of job offers for fear they will negotiate themselves right out of a job!

Here are 9 tips to help you confidently navigate your way through a successful negotiation process.

1. Be Realistic

Before initiating a negotiation, think about your ideal compensation package; what components are “wants” and which are “needs”? Knowing where your negotiation hardline lies is important to successful negotiation.

It is equally important to ensure your desires are in line with the responsibilities of the job. If you are in a job that deals with secure information, working from home would open some security risks and conflict with the functions of the role. Similarly, it would not be realistic to ask a business to cover your gas milage if you were not in a role that requires you to commute as part of the job.

2. Remain Calm

Tone and delivery play a large role in a successful negotiation. People want to work with people who are easy to work with. Try not to let your emotions get the best of you. Avoid becoming defensive or confrontational if you don’t automatically get what you want.

[blockquotes color=”highlight” quote=”yes”]before negotiating, investigate similar companies and do your research on how they compensate employees who are in similar roles to the one you have applied to [/blockquotes]

3. Seriously, Ask!

If you want something, ask for it! Both inside and outside negotiations, when you don’t make your needs known, your requests will go unanswered.

If your anxiety has a knack for getting the better of you, think of it this way: When you ask for additional vacation days, the worst anyone can say is no, and you’re right back where you started.

4. Do Your Homework

The more clearly you can communicate your ideas and support your position with facts, the more likely it is that your proposal will be received positively. Before negotiating, investigate similar companies and do your research on how they compensate employees who are in similar roles to the one you have applied to.

When making your case, be prepared to share this information with a prospective employer.

5. Be Firm, but Flexible

If the salary of a position is less than what you wanted, it is completely acceptable to ask for higher compensation, but that might not something available at this time. Consider if the extra pay increase is a want or a need; perhaps you can negotiate for more time off or find common ground in any commission or bonus programs available to you.

Try to negotiate knowing that you will not always get 100% of what you asked for. Even still a successfully negotiated compensation package should feel like a win for both prospective employee and employer.

6. Leave Room to Compromise

Successful negotiation is found in the art of compromise. When communicating how much you would like to make and the benefits you would like to have, it’s okay to leave yourself a little wiggle room to meet somewhere in the middle.

Knowing how many bargaining chips to put on the table for a specific job is an art, and largely depends on the situation’s specific circumstances; this is where information on comparable positions can help you find that sweet spot.

7. It’s Okay to Walk Away

Negotiating a compensation package should be a conversation. If there is something within the compensation package proposed by the employer that makes you uncomfortable, it is important to verbalize this. If it is a company that sees value in your professionalism and what you can bring to their team, they will want to find common ground with you.

If your attempts to communicate your needs fall on deaf ears, or the conversation is becoming decidedly one-sided, that might be a sign to keep looking for other opportunities.

8. You Can Try Again

If your compensation proposal proved to be too lofty or is unrealistic at this time, remember that performance reviews can also serve as opportunities to revisit this conversation.

However, as with any request for a salary increase, the responsibility to initiate the conversation and justify your opinion rests with you.

If you are asking for a raise from your boss, thoroughly and thoughtfully present all the ways you have gone above and beyond to successfully communicate why you deserve an increase in pay.

[blockquotes color=”highlight” logo=”yes”]Looking for Open Positions?

9. Confidence Is Key

Negotiating compensation for a job offer can be intimidating, but that shouldn’t be a deterrent to do so.

One of the main factors of job satisfaction level is how well you feel you are compensated for the work that you do. The time before signing a job offer is critical to safeguarding against any dissatisfaction in a job, long-term.

Take this time seriously; by approaching the situation with confidence and incorporating savvy negotiation tips into your strategy you will be negotiating with the best of them in no time.