I get a ton of questions about salary—and with good reason too: the gender/income gap employee, the new graduate/entry level employee, and the seasoned-in-the-field candidate all want to know when and how they can make more money! Can you negotiate if you are in either situation? The answer is always yes!
In all three scenarios, most of the time, the reason that these three candidates did not get a higher salary is answered in the best-selling book of all time:
James 4:2 “…ye have not, because ye ask not.”
Yep! Your salary isn’t higher because you didn’t ask for it to be higher. Eight times out of ten, a newly hired employee will not attempt to negotiate salary because:
- They don’t know they have the opportunity to negotiate
- They are afraid that the offer will be recanted if they ask for more money
- They’re so eager or desperate to work that they will take any offer given to them.
I rarely hear women negotiating salary, yet they wonder why the salary/gender gap is so high. Ladies, pardon mon francais, mais, we are going to have to man up, LOL! I rarely see black men negotiate too. Well… look no further because I am here to save the day and I don’t need a Lincoln Hat!
Your best bet is to work on your salary negotiation tips before you are offered the position so if the opportunity to negotiate arises, you will be ready!
Q: When do you negotiate salary? Do I talk about salary during the interview?
A: You discuss salary negotiations after you are given an offer. Do not discuss money with your interviewer or recruiter until you are given an offer. By the time you are in that interview chair or in your phone interview, you should already know the possible salary range you should be given.
Always negotiate salary. Always negotiate salary. Always negotiate salary. Can’t stress that enough!
Q: What if they bring up salary during the interview, even if I don’t bring it up? What should I do?
A: If you’re in that interview chair, your research on how much you may be making should already be done. Check www.salary.com or www.glassdoor.com for all the salary range information you need. During your initial interview with your recruiter/prospective employer, it’s best that you not give a number at this time… because you haven’t been given an offer. Go ahead and use the Socratic Questioning method:
-“Are you providing an offer for the position since you are considering a salary for me?”
-“I am also eager to begin working also, but does this mean you are offering me the position?”
Yep! Put them in the hot seat! This shows that you don’t care about the money—what you care about is being hired and making the company money!
So let’s make a scenario. You get a phone call from one of the many jobs for which you interviewed and you are given an offer of $X per year. What’s next?
You Have to Negotiate Rather Than Demand!
Table 14-1 Negotiate Rather Than Demand!
|Ultimatum or Demand (Don’t do!)||Negotiating Questions (Just do it!)|
|Thanks for your offer, but I need a much higher salary and reimbursement for my moving expenses to take the job.||I am so excited about the possibility of contributing my skills to this organization. But is there any flexibility or wiggle room in your salary offer and could your office help cover my moving expenses?|
|I appreciate your offer. But I’m afraid that compensation might be a deal-breaker.||I’m excited about this job. I’d like to work out an agreement that would make both of us feel great. Would it be possible for you to raise your salary offer? I think I deserve consideration on this because…|
Table Excerpt from the book, How to Land a Top-paying Federal Job
And you better come correct with the reasons why you deserve a higher salary too! 😀
Another rule, don’t give your recruiter just one salary number. Give the recruiter a salary range. Remember, you are negotiating, not demanding! Check out this dialogue for a great example on negotiating:
Interviewer: We would like to congratulate you on getting the position! Your salary is going to be $X K a year.
You: That is excellent news! Thank you so much for offering me this position! But is there any flexibility or wiggle room in your salary offer? *pause!*
Interviewer: What salary were you thinking about getting?
You: Based on my ___________ *give them 2 or 3 reasons why you are the best candidate, not the reasons why you deserve or demand a salary increase* I believe a salary range of $X+Y to $X + (Y+ 3) is sufficient.
Now prepare for the answer… most of the time, the recruiter is not in charge of your salary, especially if the position is for a large company. They may have to contact their manager or someone in corporate to find out if you are approved for a salary increase; also they may need to check their budget to find out if they can afford you (because you’re so awesome, professional, and amazing)!
Remember that salary range that you gave them? If you gave them the salary range of $X + Y to $X + (Y+3), chances are the company is going to be cheap and give you the lowest number in your range. Look at my FUN equation, hee hee:
X = Original salary offer
X < X+Y
BOOM! Even though you didn’t get the top number in your requested salary range, you just made more money than your future colleagues. But wait… there’s more! Look at all this other stuff you can negotiate!
|Benefits That May Be Negotiable|
Student Loan Repayment
Relocation Bonus and or moving expenses, if you are moving to take the job
Accelerated vacation accrual rate
Alternative work schedule or telecommuting options
Tuition reimbursement, if you want to take job-related courses or earn another degree
Parking, if you drive to work
Access to childcare facilities
Date of your first review
Table Excerpt from the book How to Land a Top-paying Federal Job
For example: wouldn’t it be nice to have a fun 2 WEEK paid vacation? Or 12 weeks maternity leave? Ahhhhhh… 😀
As you can see, my favorite book on this subject is Lily Whiteman’s How to Land a Top-paying Federal Job. Please read that book for the best tips on salary negotiation!
Part 2 of my Salary Negotiation Series is going to cover my personal tactics and examples of how I negotiated salary—some of which are… awkward, embarrassing, downright unconventional, but they worked. Part 3 of the Salary Negotiation Series will discuss how to get a promotion at your current job—a must-read for everyone! STAY TUNED!
1. I have been helping people find employment and (make more money) for over 5 years. I’m professionally trained in career coaching, resume writing, and personal development. I actually do this for a living, 😀
2. I have been successful in negotiating my own salary and promotions for over 6 years.
3. I like grapes. Grapes are fun.