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How to Negotiate A Salary

For many of us, juggling around the monthly budget is about trimming expenses and finding cost-saving measures. It's a good practice and a good way to manage money. But there's another thing to consider: incoming money - especially money that we earn for a living. In fact, some financial experts maintain that we don't put enough focus on our income. Which is why it's so important to master the concept of salary negotiation. For most, this will become a career-long endeavor.

Salary increases have a short-term benefit and a long-term benefit. Needless to say, a monthly increase means more cash flow, but properly invested at the beginning of a career, the additional income can multiply dramatically. As well, every pay raise represents a benchmark for future raises, and for those who have negotiated well, a momentum is established. Not only that - those who negotiate send a strong signal to their employer with respect to their performance level.

The appropriate time to negotiate a salary

While everyone wants a regular salary increase, there are certain situations where negotiating just doesn't have a place. Indeed some jobs (union, government, etc.) may have fixed salaries, period. And for job positions where supply exceeds demand, asking for a raise may be illogical.

A good negotiation begins with homework

Today, workplace statistics aren't very favorable for those who are securing a new position with a starting salary, or for those who are asking for a raise. Therefore, it's essential to "make a case" and to have a viable rationale when requesting. This will require some insightful "homework".

Preparing to negotiate for a NEW job offer

Experts say that 80% of the negotiating process should be done before even meeting the boss. A prospective employee should be aware of existing salary ranges; cognizant of the employer's needs and challenges; and most importantly - how to fill those needs and meet those challenges.

Understanding what the employer wants

It's absolutely critical to understand what the employer requires from a prospective employee. Fully appreciating the requirements sets the stage for a presentation on how the requirements will be fulfilled. Here, it's highly recommended to present a well documented, written plan.

Negotiating a "full package" is preferable

In reality, salary is only part of a full compensation package. And negotiating that "full package" will certainly include a discussion about working hours; travel requirements; expense accounts and/or perks; even vacation considerations. Bottom line: rank priorities for negotiating strength.

Before negotiating - prepare and rehearse

Preparing and rehearsing before negotiating makes for a better presentation. And doing this with someone else will ensure that every possible argument is properly addressed. Being prepared is integral to success. The result: a poised and confident negotiation that is immediately noticeable.

Being informed, knowledgeable and prepared is crucial for every employee, at every career stage. However, working with a recruiting firm like Innovative Management Solutions can add another powerful dimension. IMS can advise and counsel candidate employees on personal career paths and how best to capitalize on strengths, experience and expertise.

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