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Job Secrets Reveled

Job Secrets Reveled

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Published by Sujeet Singh

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Published by: Sujeet Singh on Sep 29, 2008
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03/12/2011

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Negotiate for Salary & Benefits
Which of these is true?1.Most new employees negotiate their salaries.2.Asking for a higher salary is usually unpleasant.3.It's tricky to know what salary to ask for, since finding salary information for jobsin your community is so hard.4.Companies and organizations are often shocked when people who receive a joboffer ask for more money.5.Getting a slightly higher salary at the beginning doesn't matter that much in thelong run.Actually, all the statements are false. Here's why.1.Almost two-thirds of men negotiate their salary or benefits when they apply for a job. But fewer than 10% of women do.Professor Linda Babcock and writer Sara Laschever researched why. In their book "Women Don't Ask: Women and the Gender Divide," they report that womenwant to get money discussions over as quickly as possible. Employers who realizethis may offer lower salaries to women. They think that women will accept a firstoffer.Does the idea of negotiating with a new employer make you feel uneasy? Pushyourself as much as you can to do it anyway. It's worth it.2.It is possible to negotiate politely for more money or better benefits. Harsh wordsor confrontation are not necessary.You can practice what to say. Examples include:
Can you go higher?
I was expecting more/that's less than I was expecting. Is that the maximum?
What can you offer in the range of $____ to $____? That's what similar jobs inour region are paying.
Let's talk about benefits. Can you increase the vacation days?
Is there a signing bonus we can discuss? (This is not unusual for hard-to-fill jobs.Or for jobs in small towns where companies want to persuade applicants to live.)Stay silent after asking one of these questions - for 30 seconds, if you can. It's easier if you look down. This is worth rehearsing with a friend. Let the interviewer fill the silencewith a new offer.
 
Of course, if the offer meets or exceeds what you expect, you can answer honestly."That's great." "That's in the ballpark." "That's in the range I was thinking of."1.It's usually pretty easy to figure out what salary to ask for. Give a range. Base therange on what jobs like this one pay in your area.Older workers will usually want to move the bottom of that range up, to reflectyour experience and the value of your age to an employer.Knowing what similar jobs in your geographic area pay is one of the best thingsyou can do before your interview. You can find this information easily, for free.The Internet is best, since books with salary information go out of date quickly.Start your salary search on America's Career InfoNet, sponsored by the U.S.Department of Labor. You can also use private Web sites to refine your search.2.Almost all employers actually expect new employees to negotiate for a higher salary or better benefits. They prepare for this. They usually offer you less at first,waiting for you to request more.Most government jobs are exceptions. The salary for each pay level is already set.But you can negotiate for a higher level or grade.3.A little more money can add up to a huge difference over time.In their research, Babcock and Laschever found that negotiating $5,000 more for a first job could result in $360,000 more in earnings over a career. The differencefor you may not be that great - but there will always be a difference.Think of your salary and benefits as a reflection of the skills you bring to your new employer. Value yourself by knowing what you're worth. Then ask for that.
How to Handle Salary Discussions
Follow these tips to increase your chance of getting the salary and benefits you deserve.
Before your interview, write down your salary and benefit priorities.Making a written list helps you remember later, when you may feel a little tense.What is the highest possible salary for this job? Stay realistic. But the upper edgeof realistic is fine. Know the lowest salary that you will accept.Figure out the benefits that are most important for you. Know which ones you'lltry to change or increase if the salary offer isn't as high as you'd like.
 
Do everything you can to postpone a salary discussion until you have a job offer.Why? When you have an offer, you know the employer wants you. You are at anadvantage then.It's also important to avoid discussing your past salary. You want your job offer toreflect your future work, not your past. And for older workers, it is more likelythat past salary does not show what you can do now.If you are pressed to give your salary history, you can say:"It feels a little early to talk salary. First, I'd like to talk more about how I cancontribute to the company.""I've been lucky to work for companies that pay well. I know that you do too.""I think I bring the skills this organization needs. My salary history doesn'tdetermine the good match we have."Then, try to change the subject. Ask a question about the job.If you can't get out of giving some salary history, give the widest range you can.For the low end, tell your lowest salary without benefits added in. For the highend, give your highest salary with every benefit you can think of added in. At this point, you want to avoid under- or overpricing yourself.If you are pressed to state your salary requirements for the new job, give the rangeyou have researched. If the lower end of that range is too low for you, don't say it.Move the range up. Once you describe your acceptable salary range, it's hard tonegotiate higher.
Stay calm and reasonable. Approach the negotiation as a win-win - for you andfor the employer.Practice some negotiating phrases before your interview. Show the employer thatyou are a skilled problem-solver and communicator. That's the kind of person theywant to hire.If you're getting nowhere on salary, briefly review your skills and experience.Stress your value to the employer. Refer again to the salary range you'veresearched.Or, switch the discussion to benefits. Ask for more vacation days, more flextime,time off for caregiving - whatever your priority is.Once you've reached an agreement, review it briefly, out loud. Then move onright away. Show your enthusiasm for the job. Stress how much you want to work for this company or organization.

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