Salary ne­go­ti­a­tions can help boost your in­come

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - BUSINESS - Nathaniel Sillin Prac­ti­cal Money Skills

Whether you’re ac­tively look­ing to make a move or be­ing lured away by a re­cruiter, a new job of­fers many op­por­tu­ni­ties for growth. Dis­cov­er­ing how dif­fer­ent or­ga­ni­za­tions run and tack­ling the learn­ing curve dur­ing the first few months is part of the fun, and strug­gle, of mak­ing a change. Switch­ing em­ploy­ers can also greatly ben­e­fit your fi­nan­cial fu­ture. While stay­ing at the same job could lead to a mod­est an­nual raise, you might be able to ne­go­ti­ate a much larger jump in pay when chang­ing com­pa­nies. Ne­go­ti­at­ing a job of­fer can be daunt­ing, but con­sider what hap­pens if you don’t ne­go­ti­ate – you might wind up earn­ing less than a hir­ing man­ager was will­ing to of­fer.

Do your home­work to find an ap­pro­pri­ate salary range be­fore ne­go­ti­at­ing. Whether you are a vet­eran or a novice ne­go­tia­tor, you may want to spend time re­search­ing be­fore sit­ting down at the ta­ble. Keeping in mind that

com­pen­sa­tion can vary de­pend­ing on lo­ca­tion, look on­line for stud­ies or per­sonal ac­counts that re­veal the salaries of some­one in a sim­i­lar role.

Sev­eral for-profit com­pa­nies com­pile and share com­pen­sa­tion in­for­ma­tion on­line, and the Bureau of La­bor Statis­tics has pay data based on oc­cu­pa­tion and ge­og­ra­phy. You could also reach out to re­cruiters who fo­cus on plac­ing can­di­dates in your in­dus­try as they’re ac­cus­tomed to dis­cussing com­pen­sa­tion.

The more data on your

pro­fes­sion’s com­pen­sa­tion you can get the bet­ter, be­cause you want to be able to make a fact-based re­quest. Ask for too much and you risk be­ing seen as un­rea­son­able or out of touch. Ask for too lit­tle, and that might be all you get.

Job seek­ers of­ten get stuck on who says a num­ber first. While ad­vice ranges, one thing is for cer­tain – you don’t nec­es­sar­ily want to use your previous salary as a start­ing point. Es­pe­cially if your re­search reveals you’re be­low the cur­rent mar­ket rate, you want your next of­fer to re­flect the ex­pe­ri­ence and tal­ent you bring to the ta­ble. If you’re

be­ing pressed to re­spond first, an­swer with the salary range you’re aim­ing for dur­ing your job hunt.

Don’t get stuck on money – keep the big pic­ture in mind. It can be easy to fix­ate on the cash por­tion of your com­pen­sa­tion when ne­go­ti­at­ing, but some­times there isn’t any wig­gle room in the bud­get. Look at the big pic­ture of your po­ten­tial pay and ben­e­fits. Per­haps a lower-than-de­sired cash of­fer is off­set by a gen­er­ous re­tire­ment con­tri­bu­tion match­ing pro­gram, great health­care ben­e­fits, stock in­cen­tives or bonus op­por­tu­ni­ties.

When the to­tal com­pen­sa­tion doesn’t meet your

ex­pec­ta­tions, try to think out­side the box and give the hir­ing man­ager al­ter­na­tive op­tions. You could re­quest ad­di­tional paid time off, the free­dom to work from home one day a week or a pro­fes­sional de­vel­op­ment stipend. Af­ter all, flex­i­bil­ity and per­sonal growth can be more valu­able than money.

At smaller com­pa­nies, you could ask for a quar­terly lunch with an ex­ec­u­tive in your de­part­ment or your di­rect su­per­vi­sor. A lunch won’t cost the com­pany much money, but it could give you in­sight into the com­pany’s fu­ture, let you know which skills to fo­cus on de­vel­op­ing and strengthen your per­sonal

re­la­tion­ship with higher ups.

Back up your re­quest with valid rea­sons. Aim to re­in­force each of your ne­go­ti­a­tion re­quests with a valid, re­lat­able and quan­tifi­able rea­son. When ask­ing for more money, point to ex­pe­ri­ence or skills that dis­tin­guish you from other can­di­dates. Less tra­di­tional re­quests, such as meet­ings with an ex­ec­u­tive, could be jus­ti­fied by your ded­i­ca­tion to self-im­prove­ment and de­sire to stay in touch with the com­pany’s needs.

Bot­tom line. While chang­ing jobs and ne­go­ti­at­ing an of­fer can be a chal­lenge, mov­ing to a new com­pany could ac­cel­er­ate

your salary’s growth. Be­fore jump­ing into ne­go­ti­a­tions, take time to re­search the mar­ket, con­sider your over­all wants and val­i­date your re­quests. Pre­sent­ing a co­her­ent ar­gu­ment can help win over a hir­ing man­ager and set you apart from other can­di­dates.

This ar­ti­cle is in­tended to pro­vide gen­eral in­for­ma­tion and should not be con­sid­ered le­gal, tax or fi­nan­cial ad­vice. It’s al­ways a good idea to con­sult a tax or fi­nan­cial ad­vi­sor for spe­cific in­for­ma­tion on how cer­tain laws ap­ply to your sit­u­a­tion and about your in­di­vid­ual fi­nan­cial sit­u­a­tion.

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