Salary Negotiation: The Art of the Stress-Free Deal
your salary can be like going to the dentist - you don't
know what to expect once you get there, but you almost
always assume that the process will be painful and unpleasant.
negotiation, however, shouldn't be stressful, provided
that you're well-prepared to talk compensation with
your employer. While there is no perfect way to negotiate
your salary, here are five things you should always
do before you ask your employer to show you the money:
Do your homework.
you're starting from scratch or looking for a raise,
you need to do some legwork before discussing dollars
and cents with your employer. Any research you do on
your industry, company or current position can be used
as leverage when building a case for your bigger paycheque.
research will especially come in handy if your employer
asks you the loaded question, "How much do you
want to make?" Your answer should be to balance
the onus back to the employer to determine your salary,
so respond by suggesting a figure based on what you've
found to be fair market value for someone in a position
similar to yours. This shows that you've done your homework
and you're serious about managing your career.
Know your worth.
research will also enable you to estimate how much you're
worth to your workplace. This is important because to
be a good negotiator, you need to know when you're presented
with a good deal. Consult online salary calculators,
job boards and government websites to get a sense of
what other people make doing comparable work. One caveat:
salary surveys can tend to be slanted towards the higher
end of your position's pay scale and this can set you
up for disappointment during your salary negotiation.
recruiters can help you pinpoint a more realistic compensation
range because they know the supply and demand dynamic
of your specific job market. Networking is also a good
way to get "insider" salary information from
professionals working in similar fields.
Keep your priorities in check.
negotiation basically comes down to not losing sight
of what's really important to you. This means you have
to be truthful to yourself and think about how your
compensation not only supports your lifestyle, but also
supports your personal and professional objectives.
people may take a more practical approach to salary
negotiation and think about what they're willing to
accept in exchange for a smaller paycheque. Perhaps
it's not important for these individuals to be the highest
paid, but it is essential for them to get an extra week
of vacation time or a certain title on their business
card to improve their resume. Again, it comes down to
you figuring out your priorities and whether your salary
demands are oriented towards building your career, balancing
your lifestyle or simply making the big bucks.
It's not personal.
that salary negotiation isn't a game of Survivor.
Your goal is not to outwit, outplay and outmatch your
employer. While it's your prerogative to negotiate for
as much money as you can, you need to respect that it's
also your employer's prerogative to keep their human
capital costs low. It's nothing personal; it's just
the nature of business.
when your livelihood is at stake it can be difficult
to keep your salary from becoming a point of contention
between you and your employer. But it's wrong to look
at salary negotiation as an adversarial game of "me
versus my company." Demands automatically put people
on the defensive, and this won't bode well for a good
salary result in the short term or good relations with
your employer in the long term.
matter what you bring to the negotiating table, it's
naive to assume you'll always get what you want. Negotiating
isn't a win-lose proposition; it's a compromise, and
you should expect this going into discussions. While
this doesn't mean you should settle for any offer that
comes your way, it does suggest that you should carefully
consider the offer and examine its fairness.
best approach to salary negotiation is to be fully prepared
with reasonable salary expectations based on your experience,
skills, training and education matching your job's requirements.
And if it seems as if you can't make the money you want
now, ask your employer how you can improve your performance
and hit targets that will elevate you to your desired
Randy Quarin, Senior Partner, has an intuitive sense
of how to solve a client's business issues with the
best resources. [full
Insight is published by IQ
PARTNERS helps intelligent companies hire better,
hire less and retain more. Our services include
Executive Search & Recruitment, Qualification
& Assessment, Employee Retention, Career
Management and Contract HR Services. We specialize
in Marketing, Communications, Media, Technology,
Legal and Financial Services, and operate at
the mid-to-senior management level. IQ PARTNERS
has offices in Toronto and Ottawa, and internationally
via the Aravati
Global Search Network.