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  • Writer's pictureLori A. Jazvac, MRW

Tackling the salary question using fact-finding and savvy negotiation

Updated: Dec 10, 2019

Salary negotiation can be the most challenging piece to solidifying a rewarding job offer or promotion. The thought-provoking question concerning "salary" may just enforce you to do some serious soul-searching or even look for a higher paying role.

But please don't make any rash decisions yet.

Maybe you have been a few years with the company or even ten years, and are still making the same salary. It's time for you to do some research and rethink your salary negotiation strategy.

So you aren't exactly great at negotiating, you say?

How will you articulate your unique value to your employer and convince him/her about your worth?

This is a sticky question because it lends itself to possibly touching the core of your values, impacting your morale and even self-worth while adding undue pressure to your financial situation and personal obligations. Have you ever been asked by a family member: "So when is your next raise, anyway?" or "Shouldn't you be making more money by now?"

Let's take the mystery out of this puzzle with a few winning salary negotiation strategies.

Smart Strategies for Win-Win Salary Negotiations

>> Many jobseekers approach the interview without doing enough research. Take time to understand your worth, identify your targeted salary range, weigh priorities, and employ a solid negotiation strategy.

>> Think strategically. Without a solid plan, you may end up settling for less in the job offer without negotiating, then feeling undervalued.

>> Consider the total value of the compensation package, which includes work-related benefits and other perks of the actual job.

>> Some jobseekers believe that employers would rather avoid the topic of salary and prefer to not negotiate.

Actually, most employers often look upon negotiating salary favourably and prefer candidates that skillfully negotiate.

The employer’s focus is to attract, hire, and retain the right talent that will stay for the long haul rather than spend more money on recruitment and turnover-related costs.

>> Remember, an employer may begin with a lower salary range, then may consider a higher salary during the next performance review depending upon the candidate’s performance.

Here are 10 tips required for effective salary negotiation:

1. Set realistic expectations.

Have a realistic expectation of the appropriate salary for the role, the respective geographic location, skill set, and responsibility level.

2. Do your research.

Comparatively research competitive salaries via Salary Finder, Glassdoor, Internet, Public library, Salary Survey on Google search, and the Occupational Outlook Handbook.

3. Demonstrate your unique value.

Describe how your particular achievements reflect your ability to make a tangible impact on the company. Showcase your portfolio of accomplishments or work samples. It's a good time to invest in a new résumé customization with your résumé writer.

4. Leverage the right timing.

Avoid bringing up salary too early in the interview -- let the employer initiate the topic of salary. Try to delay discussing salary until you have been offered the position.

5. Know your bottom line.

Have a salary range in mind; know the range or budget of the employer. Identify your absolute bottom line and don’t settle for less. Identify the benefits that are important to you.

6. Share the facts to support your position.

If necessary, provide your salary history and share solid and updated research on fair market value.

7. Don’t give up too soon without careful reflection and evaluation of the complete offer package.

a) Avoid declining an offer -- factor in other benefits (cell phone allowance, bonuses, stock options, tuition reimbursement, company car allowance, shorter performance review cycles etc.)

b) These benefits may account for up to 30% of the total compensation package and can help you meet your personal/financial and professional goals. Carefully weigh all the opportunity costs.

c) Consider Quality of Life factors in the compensation package.

These may include job satisfaction, leadership opportunities, engaging workplace culture, increased vacation time, holidays or personal absence days. Also factor in flexible work hours, convenient telecommuting options, and career advancement opportunities.

8. Prepare a counter-argument strategy.

Be prepared to creatively counter arguments for higher pay by pointing out how your abilities and experience will help reduce costs or increase revenue or efficiency. Quantitatives help here!

9. Remain poised and confident.

Stay calm and alert. Go with the flow. Be flexible to negotiate and reach a compromise that meets your goals. Be prepared to market yourself. NEVER UNDERESTIMATE your value.

10. Review the entire offer in detail.

Don't accept an offer right away -- take at least 24 hours to review the offer in detail to ensure that you are in agreement with the employer’s complete job/salary offer and policies.

For more information, contact Creative Horizons Communications at 905.730.2374 or email If you need virtual interview coaching, let's talk about salary negotiation to position you for your next career move!

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