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How to Negotiate Your Way to a Better Salary

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Some scripts and strategies to facilitate the process and help you leverage your compensation package.
 

ONCE WHEN FLYING TO A MEETING, I began talking to the man seated next to me on the plane. He told me that he had been downsized about six months earlier from a senior management position and was on his way to a job interview. My seatmate said that he had made the final cut in several previous interviews, but had never been offered a job, and hoped that this interview would result in an offer. When I asked him what kind of a salary he was seeking, the man reached into his briefcase and pulled out a carefully typed sheet that he said he always showed a potential employer at the beginning of the interview.

On the top of the sheet was the heading "Employment Terms" and below was a list, as he described them, of his job "requirements." I read down the page and saw that he was seeking a salary of $125,000, equity participation, 31 days vacation a year, tuition reimbursement for graduate courses, a private parking space, and so on. I had read enough to know why he would be still looking for a job after his interview. He was innocent of even the elementals of salary negotiating. Despite this man’s best intentions, his tactics not only ensured he would not get the salary he was seeking, his tactics also pretty much guaranteed he would not get the job at all.

Please do not make the same mistakes as this man. Once you have finished reading this article, you will understand the key mistakes he made and you will also know what to do differently so you get the job you want and the salary you deserve.

1.  The Right Mindset – Prepare for Polite Negotiation

Negotiating a financial package is every job seeker’s final hurdle. It is also every jobseeker’s nightmare. The topic of one’s own worth can make even the most secure person apprehensive. Further, many people are so happy at having received an offer that they fail to take advantage of their leverage at this critical time. The temptation is strong to settle salary questions as quickly as possible and be willing to accept an employer’s first offer. However, this may not be the best way.

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