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Job Offer Negotiation for Beginners

So you've received a job offer for the job of your dreams, but there's a catch. You don't like the wages or benefits that you've been offered. You may feel tempted to just accept whatever you're offered; however, you would be surprised to know that most businesses actually expect you to negotiate with them. In some cases, they expect you to turn down the first offer and to actually request the money you feel you deserve based on your experience and your education.  Here are some tips on how to negotiate your salary professionally and successfully.  

Before You Begin Negotiations, Know Your Pay Scale

The most important thing you should remember is to look up current salaries in your industry before negotiating. You don't want to set yourself out by asking for some astronomical figure as part of an annual compensation package. You also don't want to aim too low. The Bureau of Labor Statistics is an excellent website to refer back to when it comes to looking for the current salary of any industry and position. Another tip for knowing what salary you should expect in your area of specialty is to look through online job posting boards and newspapers. Make sure to only look at local salaries, since pay tends to fluctuate by location. Also, pay close attention to the requirements. If the highest pay requires that you have a Masters degree, but you have a Bachelors, you won't be able to achieve that salary.  

Sell Yourself

During your interview, sell yourself in order to get the job; however, this shouldn't stop once you've been offered a salary. Pitch ideas on how you feel you can tackle challenges in the position you're being offered, and what you can bring to the table. The boss will be willing to pay you more if they see that you have determination and confidence.This is one way to negotiate your salary without even discussing negotiations.  

Play Hardball

If you've applied to several companies and were offered a higher salary, bring this up to the company that you really want to work for; especially if they're offering a lower salary. Explain to them why you think you're worth a higher salary than you're being offered.  

What Are You Willing To Give Up?

Most businesses offer you the salary they can afford after taking into consideration the other parts of the benefits package that they're going to offer you. Think about which one of these benefits you can do without. Less sick days, less vacation days or a smaller office? Negotiating your benefits may work out for you in the end. Try negotiating for other things outside of salary if you don't have much wiggle room; perhaps the company has a bonus schedule, for instance, or a better health insurance plan that covers more medical procedures, like vision and dental exams.  

Offer Something To Sweeten The Deal

Now before you start thinking of really weird things to offer, what we mean here is to offer to do something related to the position you're applying for. Tell them you're willing to do this job before even taking the offer. This way you're showing them why you really deserve the salary that you're requesting. The trick here is to sell yourself and your abilities and portray yourself (honestly!) as someone who can pick up slack in the office. This works like a dream in fields such as graphic design, advertising, marketing and any other field that requires the creative process.  

Talk In Person, Not Over The Phone

Use the art of negotiation by utilizing all the skills you've learned on how to get through an interview successfully. Look sincere, dress your best and speak confidently. Let them know that you know what you're talking about and that you're worth every penny of what you're asking for and more. Confidence is key, but be sure to also be courteous and to have good reasons to back up your requests. Do your research and be ready to have a back-and-forth conversation. Good luck!