As you make your way toward the end of the hiring process, you can expect that a potential employer is going to want to begin salary negotiations with you. While some professionals thrive during these discussions, many professionals may see it as an intimidating and awkward experience. Since nerves can often get the best of us, being anxious about an upcoming salary negotiation can lead to mistakes that ultimately result in you receiving an offer below your actual value.
However, this doesn’t mean that you have to let your nerves get the best of you! With the proper preparation and knowledge of your market value, you can enter negotiations with a clear goal in mind. By doing so, you’ll be able to receive an offer that will benefit you beyond just your base salary.
Here are five mistakes you’ll want to avoid as you enter salary negotiations for your next job opportunity:
Not doing your research
Before you begin your salary negotiation with a future employer, you’ll want to do some research beforehand. With sites like Glassdoor, you can find out what professionals in your field and local area are making. To ensure you’re receiving an offer that’s competitive with your market value, take some time to research what other professionals in your industry are earning.
Not having a range
When discussing your salary, it’s important to keep in mind that you want to give yourself room to negotiate in order to get the best offer possible. Even if you do have a specific number in mind, volunteering that information too early during a salary negotiation can result in you settling for less than you’re worth. In order to best position yourself to receive the amount you want, you should provide a range when asked ‘what is your target salary.’ However, you’ll want to be strategic about your range before making a decision. If you give too high of a number, an employer can think you’re being unrealistic, while providing too low of a number could make it look like you’re selling yourself short.
Not knowing your state’s laws
Over the past several years, an increasing amount of cities, states, and other localities have adopted new employee protection laws. For example, employers in New York City can no longer ask about your salary history during the hiring process unless you bring it up first. Therefore, it’s important to be aware of any local laws that could affect how your negotiations will go.
Not considering the entire compensation package
One mistake that many job seekers make during salary negotiations is not considering the entire compensation package. This could include salary and other factors that aren’t directly related to monetary compensation, such as health insurance, vacation time, opportunities for flexible scheduling, and retirement planning. If you find yourself in a situation where an employer is unable to provide you with the salary you’re looking for, it’s critical to not overlook these other factors. For example, free health insurance may make up for a lower yearly salary. Similarly, you may want to ask for more vacation time to make up for a lower salary. As these negotiations progress, it’s important to remember that the best offer possible has many factors to consider!
Not consulting an expert
If you’re still unsure about how to approach a salary negotiation with a helpful strategy in mind, consider reaching out to someone like a recruiter. Since recruiters are often experts in the industries they specialize in, they can provide you with valuable insight not just regarding your worth, but current payment trends affecting companies within your industry. Beyond salary negotiations, developing a relationship with a recruiter can be a major asset for you in the future. Should you eventually find yourself at a crossroads in your career, a recruiter will be able to navigate you when making an important decision.