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Always Get the Salary You Want - and Deserve

While not everyone may be an authorised negotiator in their job, nearly everyone who takes a job, and certainly professional people looking for a new job, will have the opportunity to negotiate in the hiring process. Negotiating the salary you want at the hiring stage is the best move you can make to secure the compensation you deserve and on which future salary incrases will be based. It is also one of the most professional things you can do in the hiring process and will go a long way to demonstrating your maturity, confidence, and commercial skills. Unfortunately, the vast majority of people, particularly the young, women, and of course the untrained, accept what they are offered. The following 5 tips will help you re-think your approach and set you on the path to more success in getting the salary you want.

Salary Negotiation Tip #1: Do Thorough Salary Research, Just Like the Other Side

Most companies set their salary rates according to industry levels. If you are being considered for a professional position, find out what the pay ranges are for your position in other companies with your level of experience and education. Adjust the figure for any other factors such as location. Using this information, and looking at the job specification, mentally put yourself into the upper quartile of the salary band. Use this range to set your ideal, probable, and this-far-and-no-further salary levels.

Salary Negotiation Tip #2: Don't Talk About Salary First

There’s an old saying in hiring which is, “The first person to bring up money loses.” Starting a discussion about salary too early in the process sends a signal that you care more about what you're going to get than about what you are going to give. Equally, if your hirer starts a salary discussion before you're ready, knock them back politely by saying something to the effect that you would first like to find out more about the job and the company, whether it's the position that you're looking for, and whether it offers you the kind of development that's right for you.

Salary Negotiation Tip #3: Be Aware of their Negotiating Position

Be aware that recruiters are in the business of getting good talent for as little as they can. This is rarely because they don't have the money even if they say it is. And, incidentally, if they say they can't afford to go beyond a certain level, is this the sort of company you want to be joining? If they insist there is nothing that can be done about the starting salary level, say that you are willing to look at alternatives such as a sliding scale of increases over a period of years, performance-related bonuses, and non-salary benefits. If they go down this route, get this in writing so your new employer is committed to it.

Salary Negotiation Tip #4: Get Them to a Position Where They Have to Have You, No Matter What

Your strongest card in salary negotiation is to sell yourself to your hirer so that they convince themselves that they have to have you no matter what. You can do this by treating the whole selection process as a negotiation and finding out just what your prospective employers want from their new employee. Once you have done this, then you can use the various techniques and tactics of power negotiations to manouevre them into a position where they just have to have you. Chief amongst these tactics is having a BATNA and being willing to walk away if the deal is not right.

Salary Negotiation Tip #5: Rehearse in Your Head, Rehearse to the Camera, Rehearse with Others

One of the best ways to ensure you are a confident and skilled salary negotiator is to practise different scenarios. You can do this with a colleague or friend. You can video yourself and then play back the role play by looking at your performance from both your side and the other side. Above all, you can practise acting out salary negotiations in your head until you no longer feel awkward when the subject of money comes up nor embarrassed when you set your requirements at the highest level that's reasonable.

No negotiation can ever be certain. It's like playing a game. No two games, and no two negotiations, are ever the same. However, if you learn, practise, and perfect these 5 steps of salary negotiation, you'll discover that you'll soon become a master of the game and get everything you want.