NEW FREE REPORT! Salary Negotiations

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How to Negotiate Salary: Learn the Best Techniques to Help You Manage the Most Difficult Salary Negotiations and What You Need to Know When Asking for a Raise

Strategies for a Successful Salary Negotiation

Dear Business Professional,

Jasper’s story says a lot about how to negotiate for a better salary. Here’s how he tells it:

Money isn’t everything. However, being paid a competitive salary is important to me, and that’s why I always negotiate pay before accepting a job offer.

After a decade in pharmaceutical sales, I decided to go back to school to get a master’s degree in software engineering. Because it’s such an in-demand career, I figured I’d have no problem finding a job and negotiating a great salary.

One thing I neglected to consider was how competitive the market was in my city—particularly when it came to getting a job at one of the “big name” tech firms. However, after seven interviews with one of the leading companies, I was finally offered a job. The pay was decent but when I tried to negotiate for a higher salary, they seemed reluctant to play ball.

I’m not one to just back down, so I started searching the internet for ways to negotiate “nonnegotiable” job offers. What I found was Salary Negotiations: How to Negotiate Salary: Learn the Best Techniques to Help You Manage the Most Difficult Salary Negotiations and What You Need to Know When Asking for a Raise, a free special report from the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School.

The free report offered specific insights on how to work with companies that tend to offer standard packages and avoid negotiating with new recruits:

1. Probe for signs of flexibility. Often, by doing some research, you can uncover areas where potential employers may be flexible. For example, if you have special expertise or experience, you could ask your interviewers if you might qualify for a more senior position.

2. Take a long-term perspective. Most candidates focus on salary, bonus potential, and other “year one” items, such as a signing bonus. But what happens after year one? With a little research, you can gain critical insights on future salary trends. For example, Company A’s $80,000 salary might sound better than Company B’s offer of $70,000; however, Company A only provides cost-of-living raises.

3. Create a scoring system. The number of factors at stake in a job decision can be overwhelming: role, location, department, pay package, amount of travel required, and so on. So create a scoring system to determine which issues matter to you most.

4. Demonstrate flexibility. Organizations are often hamstrung by policies and procedures, so consider negotiating on issues beyond simply your base pay. For example, consider a signing bonus, year-end bonus, vacation time, or educational-loan repayment.

After reading Salary Negotiations: How to Negotiate Salary: Learn the Best Techniques to Help You Manage the Most Difficult Salary Negotiations and What You Need to Know When Asking for a Raise, I felt ready to go back to the drawing board with my potential employer. I called my main contact and broached the idea of pursuing a more senior role. She agreed that my prior business experience and internships qualified me for a role with more responsibility—and more pay. Plus, she was open to the idea of loan repayment.

Within a week, we had nailed down the details and I happily accepted the revised offer. To be honest, I might still be searching for a job if I hadn’t come across the free special report, Salary Negotiations: How to Negotiate Salary: Learn the Best Techniques to Help You Manage the Most Difficult Salary Negotiations and What You Need to Know When Asking for a Raise.

Jasper’s story is one we’ve heard time and again at the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School.

Salary negotiations are often stressful and challenging. But with the right strategies, you can negotiate your employment terms with ease. In Salary Negotiations: How to Negotiate Salary: Learn the Best Techniques to Help You Manage the Most Difficult Salary Negotiations and What You Need to Know When Asking for a Raise, you’ll discover innovative ways to negotiate not only your salary, but also your job satisfaction.

Negotiate Your Worth

From vacation time and location to growth opportunities and stock options, there are lots of issues on the table when negotiating a job offer. But naturally one stands out the most: salary.

Even a $5,000 bump can make a big difference in the long run. For example, a 25-year-old employee who enters the job market at $55,000 will earn about $634,000 more over the course of a 40-year career (assuming annual 5% raises) than an employee who starts out at $50,000.

So how do you negotiate for higher pay? Individual differences—such as gender, negotiating style, and tolerance for risk—determine how we approach starting salary negotiations and what we achieve. Research shows there are five types of negotiating styles:

1. Collaborating—Engaging in problem solving to reach the best possible outcome for both sides.
2. Competing—Trying to maximize one’s own outcomes with little concern for others.
3. Accommodating—Putting the other party’s concerns first.
4. Compromising—Trying to reach middle ground.
5. Avoiding—Dodging negotiation altogether.

So which strategy works best? Salary Negotiations: How to Negotiate Salary: Learn the Best Techniques to Help You Manage the Most Difficult Salary Negotiations and What You Need to Know When Asking for a Raise reveals that those who chose to negotiate salary, rather than simply accepting the offer on the table, increased their starting pay by an average of $5,000, primarily by using competing and collaborating strategies.

Those who behaved competitively did better than those who focused on collaboration, but collaborators were more satisfied than competitive bargainers with the negotiation process. By contrast, avoiding, compromising, and accommodating strategies were not linked to salary gains.

It pays to negotiate assertively for a salary increase upon being offered a job. However, if you don’t have a competing job offer, you should negotiate with caution, since there’s always a chance the employer could revoke the job offer entirely.

Realize That Pay is Only Part of the Equation

It’s easy to get hung up on the numbers. But when it comes to negotiating a job offer, it’s important to remember that it’s only a small sliver of the whole picture. In Salary Negotiations: How to Negotiate Salary: Learn the Best Techniques to Help You Manage the Most Difficult Salary Negotiations and What You Need to Know When Asking for a Raise, you’ll explore how to:

Negotiate for your happiness. A well-padded paycheck will put a bounce in your step, but unless the job brings intrinsic pleasure, the glow will inevitably wear off. So take the time to fully understand how you’ll spend your day and who you’ll spend it with. Plus, remember to probe the political environment by asking what happened to your predecessor.

Negotiate for your long-term success. The job you’re applying for isn’t your final job. So be sure to negotiate for the tools you need to grow such as resources, a strong support staff, advanced education, and an appropriate title.

Negotiate for pay. Try to figure out what pay category someone with your education and experience would receive, and then build a case for a salary at the high end of that range. Make a “non-offer offer” by saying something like “Correct me if I’m wrong, but I’ve heard that people like me typically earn $80,000 to $90,000.”

In the pages of Salary Negotiations: How to Negotiate Salary: Learn the Best Techniques to Help You Manage the Most Difficult Salary Negotiations and What You Need to Know When Asking for a Raise, you’ll gain concrete guidance for negotiating the salary you want without damaging your relationships.

Set Yourself Up for Long-Term Success

According to a Gallup survey of 230,000 employees in 142 countries, only 13% of respondents felt engaged by their jobs. Are you part of the 87% who feel unfulfilled in your current job? If so, you simply have to read Salary Negotiations: How to Negotiate Salary: Learn the Best Techniques to Help You Manage the Most Difficult Salary Negotiations and What You Need to Know When Asking for a Raise. This free special report reveals the most common reasons why people get trapped in jobs that aren’t a good fit in the long run:

1. We overlook what we truly value. Job seekers often fall prey to the so-called “vividness bias,” or the tendency to focus too closely on vivid information and overlook dull but equally valuable information. For example, you might consider pay but not take into consideration the length of your new commute.
2. We get in our own way. People often hold themselves back in job negotiations because they feel vulnerable or insecure about their worth. Common pitfalls include failing to recognize opportunities to negotiate, focusing on our own weaknesses, and making the first concessions in our own heads, before we have even given other parties a chance to voice their positions.

3. We fail to recognize our own relative bargaining power. Job seekers who negotiate forcefully may not succeed if they don’t recognize their own bargaining position. For example, an employer hiring for an entry-level position may not be inclined to negotiate if they have hundreds of qualified candidates waiting to get in the door.

By reading Salary Negotiations: How to Negotiate Salary: Learn the Best Techniques to Help You Manage the Most Difficult Salary Negotiations and What You Need to Know When Asking for a Raise, you’ll acquire the strategies you need to overcome these common traps and identify the job that’s good for your wallet (and your psyche).

Know When (and How) to Talk About Pay

“So, how much do you make?” It’s a common question but it’s also an emotionally charged one. Comparing salaries has historically been taboo in the United States, but Millennials tend to be more open about sharing pay details. In Salary Negotiations: How to Negotiate Salary: Learn the Best Techniques to Help You Manage the Most Difficult Salary Negotiations and What You Need to Know When Asking for a Raise, you’ll explore this issue from the employer and the employee perspective. The FREE special report explores questions such as:

How do salary conversations impact morale?

Employers have long believed that open discussion of salaries can create problems in the workplace. Because of our innate desire for fairness, knowledge of pay differences can reduce morale and productivity.

How should employees approach possible pay discrepancies?

First, consider possible explanations for pay discrepancies that you might have overlooked, such as whether similar-seeming colleagues have stronger credentials, greater seniority, or longer work hours. If you do find solid evidence that you’re underpaid, present your employer with the facts as you see them, being careful to stress that you believe any discrepancy is unintentional.

How do employers foster fairness?

Some employers rely on elaborate job grade systems that divide employees into levels with set salaries. While these clear guidelines may seem rigid, they can improve the odds that employees will feel fairly treated relative to others at their level. Other employers are embracing complete pay transparency in the hopes that employees are more efficient when they aren’t trying to guess how much their colleagues are earning.

Get What You Want in Salary Negotiations

What if you could negotiate your ideal salary without damaging your relationship with your future employer? What if you could set yourself up to succeed before you even start your new job? You can when you read the FREE Salary Negotiations: How to Negotiate Salary: Learn the Best Techniques to Help You Manage the Most Difficult Salary Negotiations and What You Need to Know When Asking for a Raise special report.

Curated from relevant articles as featured in the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School’s Negotiation Briefings newsletter, this timely report contains the information you need to negotiate your employment contract.

Download your complimentary copy of Salary Negotiations: How to Negotiate Salary: Learn the Best Techniques to Help You Manage the Most Difficult Salary Negotiations and What
You Need to Know When Asking for a Raise right now. To do so, simply click the button below.

We know you’ll be glad you did.

Sincerely,

Gail Odeneal
Director of Marketing
Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School

P.S. Before you begin your next salary negotiation, download your FREE copy of Salary Negotiations: How to Negotiate Salary: Learn the Best Techniques to Help You Manage the Most Difficult Salary Negotiations and What You Need to Know When Asking for a Raise.

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