Getting ready for a salary negotiation can be nerve-wracking. Unless you’ve got the Wolf of Wall Streetgene, which will allow you to walk instantly into any situation ready to sell, the whole concept of negotiation might strike you as completely foreign.

Our whole lives, we’re taught to stay humble, don’t talk about money and avoid confrontational conversations. Now you’re expected to do all three. The key is to walk into the negotiation prepared, both in terms of knowledge level of your mental state.

To give you a better idea of what we mean, here are four questions to ask yourself before you head into your salary talks:

1. What’s the Market Rate for This Position?

The key to any negotiation is information. You can bet the company has copious statistics about the market and the going rate for your position. After all, they negotiate with candidates all the time. You just negotiate with them once in a while.

So do as much research as you can. Find out what people in your position earn on average, keeping in mind things like regional differences. If you are working remotely, for instance, you can either focus on where you live, or where the company is located. Find out which has a higher standard of living and push to make that the basis of negotiation.

2. What Makes You Special?

Research can only tell you about averages. It won’t tell you about particulars.

As much as the job market looks to treat you like an interchangeable cog, you are unique. You have a unique mix of talent, education, skills and life experience that is different than any other candidate.

Some of that stuff doesn’t matter. But other things have value, even if that value is sometimes hidden. Figure out what you offer that no one else can. Then make sure the bring that up during your salary talks.

3. Are There Benefits/Bonuses?

It’s easy to get fixated on a salary. That’s obviously the biggest part of your compensation. But it’s not everything.

Sometimes the seemingly fringe items – the bonuses and benefits – represent a place to make progress in negotiations. Remember: everyone has a boss. The person you’re negotiating with can’t afford to “lose” the negotiation. They might not be able to meet your salary demands, because that number is highly scrutinized. But other items might involve more discretion.

You might be able to secure things like extra vacation days, travel expenses or education reimbursements. Even if you can’t get these things, asking for them gives you bargaining chips. In the end, it can’t hurt to ask…

4. Am I Prepared to Walk Away?

Negotiation 101: The winner is whoever is most willing to walk away.

Knowing whether you can pass on the position will help you decide how hard to fight for that last dollar. If it’s a job you’ll love or an opportunity you can’t pass up, maybe you shouldn’t risk getting too aggressive. However, if you are on the fence about the position, that gives you license to push.

In any case, you are better off going into the negotiation with a partner. A staffing agency can help you figure out your market value and put you in a better position to earn what you deserve. Contact our top Central Oregon recruitersat PrideStaff Bend today to find out more.


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