Monster Salary and
While it's difficult to make definitive statements
about what to do and what not to do in every negotiation situation, there are
some definitive pitfalls to be aware of before entering the negotiation process.
Here are five of the most common no-nos
Initiating Negotiations Too Soon
Timing is important here. The appropriate time to negotiate is when a
formal offer has been made. If the offer meets your needs, by all means accept
it. It's a mistake to negotiate just for the sake of negotiating, but don't
assume you can't negotiate at all. There's nothing wrong with asking for time to
consider the offer or outright asking if the offer is negotiable.
While money is the most frequently negotiated
piece of the compensation package, it's not the only one. It's also true that
many employers have benefits such as vacation time and health insurance coverage
that are established by company policy and are therefore nonnegotiable.
But other parts of the package may be negotiable. They include signing
bonuses, unpaid leave, relocation expenses, flextime, severance, and
predetermined timeframes for salary reviews.
In the end, it's important
to maintain some salary flexibility until you've seen the whole package,
including benefits. For instance, the job you're seeking may have a built-in
profit-sharing plan, a great company-funded health insurance program, or a bonus
or incentive program, which all have real dollar value.
Mistrusting the System
Many job seekers
operate under the assumption that employers will, without exception, try to
lowball them, no matter how well-qualified they are for a position. While there
are employers who pay employees below industry standard, you should never enter
a negotiation with a them-versus-me mentality. And don't assume that just
because you've researched a job's market value, you'll get an offer within that
range. While market averages are good barometers of pay averages, they're just
that -- averages.
The fact is, many companies have a predetermined
budget for every position and have pay ranges and benefit packages based on
their established compensation hierarchies. An offer may boil down to a
take-it-or-leave-it proposition, only because that's all the budget allows for
the position, not because the employer is trying to take advantage of you.
Assuming Your Degree Entitles You to a
Higher Starting Salary
Increasingly, having an advanced
education is nothing more than a threshold requirement that enables prospective
employers to narrow down the pool of applicants to a manageable size. If you
have relatively little real-world work experience, your degree may keep you in
the running, but it won't entitle you to a higher salary.
assume your degree is all you have to offer the employer. Having significant
work experience will probably carry more weight than a degree alone. There's a
major difference between job-performance potential, which a degree can suggest,
and past job performance, which indicates previous work experience and
Believing Every Negotiation
Will End in Your Favour
No 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 that going into discussions. Very few of us are in such demand that we
can write our own tickets. That doesn't mean you should settle for any offer
that comes your way, but sometimes an agreement won't be made. And accepting a
job just for the sake of a paycheck could lead to mutual dissatisfaction.
Ultimately, it could be better for you to continue your job search.