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There is a crucial time between getting hired and starting work where you have leverage to enhance your work life. When negotiating, ask for what you want or they won’t necessarily know what is important to you.
Most medium to large organizations have a pay range – not just one rate – for each position. To find this range, seek out a credible compensation survey from consultancies that collect data from organizations, rather than individuals who may submit unverified data. If you can’t get access to these surveys, do research online and talking to your network and recruiters to build the picture of the range. Then negotiate within the range based on your experience and skills.
Frederick Herzberg, a pioneer in the field of business psychology, asserted that people aren’t just motivated by salary. But they do need a stable base of income and benefits that he called “hygiene factors.” Take the time to think what conditions will make you feel more secure in your role, including retirement benefits, vacation and weekly hours. Look at the full picture to see how benefits can contribute to a solid foundation at work.
Is salary firm but vacation time flexible? If you want to learn more about what to negotiate for, talk to some of your contacts to identify what people are negotiating for in compensation packages these days. Although you are negotiating for what you want in a compensation package, it helps to know the territory and what the company considers flexible.
Salary and benefits package are the most popular items to negotiate, but other options may be on the table depending on the culture of the organizations. For instance, some businesses may offer sabbaticals, training and tuition reimbursement, concierge and gym benefits, or a flexible work schedule that includes working longer days for a day off. Consider what’s truly important to you – not what would just be a nice perk – and make the ask.
Negotiations don’t need to be about a take-it-or-leave-it mentality. Rather, you can simply ask if the organization has the capacity to increase their offer if, for example, it came through lower than expected. If the employer is unwilling to move, you can still consider the offer as it stands. Remember, you’ll never get it if you don’t ask.
Remember, you can acknowledge and express genuine appreciation for the job offer without accepting. During the conversation, set a positive tone, request some time to review the offer, and consider your options. The ball is in your court.