You’ve been presented with a job offer, and you’re so excited! (Also, congrats!)
You now have the leverage to negotiate.
Only problem is you’re not sure how to go about this without sounding greedy, and you have lots of unanswered questions:
How do I gather accurate info about what my salary should really be?
What part of the range should I be in?
What should I do if they come back and say there’s nothing more that can be done? Do I take it or leave it?
You need some answers.
I’ve got you.
In this post, we’ll cover the 3 most important things you can do to make sure you’re prepared to negotiate your salary well before you’re at this stage in the hiring process. Most of the work is done before you even get into this situation. Once you’re in there, it’s a little too late to rush back and gather all the intell. Some of these things are foundational pre-work that needs to be done before you even get the offer.
So, get comfy, and let’s talk prep.
1) Gather accurate salary data
The first basic thing that all candidates should do is check out the salaries on Glassdoor and Payscale to find what the ranges are for your role and industry. Now, this is very basic research, and the problem with it is that it may show you a very wide range of information. After your research, you may still be confused, as most of my clients are.
So, the second and more accurate way to find this data is to ask people who are in this industry what type of salary you could reasonably expect. I did this, and if you word it, nicely people are happy to tell you. This is the exact message I wrote to a former colleague of mine, and she was more than happy to help me out:
“Hey, Lianne! I am looking for some information, and I thought it was worth a try to ask you for some help (if you can’t tell me anything, I totally get it, and it’s totally fine).
Anyways, I’m going for an interview for this job for a Conference and Events Manager, and I want to figure out what companies in Victoria are paying (salary wise) for this type position. The information I found online wasn’t much to go on, so I was wondering if you can tell me how much your company pays for this type of role. If you can’t tell me, again, I totally understand–no worries. Here’s the link to the job description, so you can get an idea of what the job is all about. Any info you can provide me with would be super appreciated!
Thanks a bunch!
When you approach people with the genuine intention of asking for their advice, they’re more open to helping you. It’s all in the approach to the ask.
2) Key words and phrases to say during the interview process, so they know to expect a negotiation
Salary will come up more than once during the process of an interview. The only time that it is serious is when you have a job offer in hand. If you’ve got the job offer in hand, now you have leverage to negotiate. There are certain key things you’ll want to do before you even get to this point, though. They are key things you’ll want to say when salary is brought up before you’ve got the job offer in hand.
When they ask “What are your salary expectations?,”at this point, you do not have a job offer on the table, and you can say one of two things:
a) I’d be happy to discuss salary down the line, but my first priority is finding the right fit.
This lets them know that you’re not concerned with the money as much as you’re concerned with finding the right fit for you, which implies that you are not just going to take anything they’ll offer you and leave it at that.
b) I’m negotiable, depending on the range.
This response lets them know that your keyword ‘negotiable,’ meaning ‘game to negotiate,’ that you’re a strong candidate who knows how to stand in her worth–a valuable asset to any organization, if I do say so myself.
Ideally, the goal is to delay serious discussions involving hard numbers until you have an offer in hand because it’s really pointless to discuss before you know they are serious.
3) Where in the salary range am I?
You should be in the mid to high end of the range that you’ve gathered using the two ways I laid out previously in this post.
Let’s say that the range you’ve found for your particular position is between $58,000 and $119,000 (This is an extreme, but it happened to a client of mine, and this range is very difficult to delineate where low, mid and high are). Let’s use this as an example to show you how the breakdown would go:
$58,000-$65,000 – low end
$65,000-$95,000 – mid range
$95,000-$119,000 – high range
With the points above, I want you to remember that you’ll need to do most of the work beforehand. This is the work that most people don’t do. The reason most people struggle to get ahead in their careers is they don’t take the time to actually learn what it takes.
Congrats for being one of the few who is investing the time. Most people will give their past salary when asked, and that will completely ruin their chances at making anything much above that. I’ve had clients that worked in retail and made $16/hour. They went from that wage to a $60k/year salary. That would have NEVER happened if they’d let employers in on their $16/hour status, so don’t make this mistake from the beginning by caving and giving up too much information. If they know they can get the cow for $16, why would they want to pay more for that cow?
Take the info in this post and get to work. You’re going to be way ahead already.