Salary Negotiation Tips From the Parachute Book

Do you have a job offer? Do you need salary negotiation tips?

Negotiating your salary helps get you a great compensation package. In What Color Is Your Parachute, there are six salary negotiation tips you can use.

Keep reading for the six salary negotiation tips from the Parachute book.

Salary Negotiation Tips

Congratulations, an employer likes you, you like them, and they’ve offered you a job! Now, it’s time to discuss salary and benefits.

There are six salary negotiation tips:

1. Research industry-standard salaries. When researching, keep in mind that the geographical region will play a factor. The first of these salary negotiation tips can be executed with resources such as these:

  • Look at sites such as Glassdoor, PayScale, or Salary.com, which will give you expected salary ranges for positions within certain industries.
  • Search job boards such as Indeed.com for similar jobs and sort them by salary range.
  • Read general job information resources such as the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ salary surveys.
  • Look at similar government positions. Governments publish salaries, and most government agencies have positions similar to private sector positions.
  • Talk to people who are doing the same kind of a job, either at the same company or for a competitive company. (It’s better to ask about a range than someone’s exact salary.) You can even apply for a competitor’s company, and because you don’t care about getting a job there, ask about salary right away.
  • Speak with professors, teachers, and alumni organizations about what past students are making.
  • Sign up with a temporary work agency. You can look at both what the company pays the agency and talk to people who work there about what they make.
  • Determine what the people above and below you make. The range an employer will be willing to pay you will be between these two people’s salaries. To find out what these people make, get in touch with someone who works at the company who might know, or if you can’t manage that, find out the ranges for a competitor.

The goal of this research is that, when an employer offers a figure, you’ll have a sense of whether this is near the top or bottom of their range. This research might take a few days of work, but if it gains you an extra $15,000 a year (which the author says isn’t unrealistic), then, of course, that’s worth the time.

2. Don’t discuss salary prematurely. The best way to negotiate salary is to wait for the right time. It’s in your best interest to avoid discussion of salary until after the employer has decided she wants you⁠—at this point, she knows why you’re the ideal candidate and how much she needs you, which puts you in a better position. If the interview goes very well, she might offer you something higher than she’d originally planned.

If an employer brings up salary early, this is how you handle it:

  • If the employer seems reasonable, say that you feel discussing salary is premature because neither of you knows yet if you want to work together.
  • If the employer seems demanding, say you’d be happy to discuss numbers, but first, you’d like to know more about the job.
  • If the employer is very aggressive, give your range. If the range doesn’t satisfy them, then you’ve learned that they don’t intend to negotiate and that they want to hire the most qualified person who will work for the lowest salary. This might indicate that you don’t want to work for this employer⁠—if they’re unreasonable about salary, they might be unreasonable about other things too. You can try asking for some time to think about it.

3. Negotiate. Most employers won’t tell you the top of their range. They hope to get you for a lower amount. You, of course, want the opposite. It’s your right to try to secure the highest number in the range. That’s the best way to negotiate salary.

4. Don’t mention a figure. Whoever mentions a figure first usually loses. (The author says this is an observable if not completely understood phenomenon, so this is one of the essential salary negotiation tips.) If an employer asks you for a number, respond by asking for her number⁠—she came up with the job, so she must have some idea, and you’d like to hear it.

5. Work the range. The best way to negotiate salary is to work the range you were given. The bottom of your asking range should be near the top of the employer’s. For example, if an employer’s range is $40,000-$45,000 (find out the range using the research tactics above), your range might be $44,000-$49,000.

Once the employer gives you her range, say that you justify a salary in your range because of your productivity, what you can contribute to the company, and so on.

If you can’t agree on a salary, you might consider working part-time for their full-time salary. For example, if you need $100,000 and they can only pay $60,000, you might work for $60,000 three days a week.

6. Negotiate benefits. More than just the salary itself, the salary negotiation tips also highlight your full compensation package. Benefits include life or medical insurance, vacation, and retirement contributions, and these can add 15-28% to a salary. As with salary, before going into an interview, you should know what you want. Settle on salary before moving on to benefits.

Once you’ve finished all your negotiations, get everything you’ve discussed in writing and signed. Otherwise, the employer might sincerely forget what you’ve discussed or pretend to forget the discussion, or a supervisor might say that the interviewer wasn’t allowed to offer you what she did.

Salary Negotiation Tips From the Parachute Book

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