After lots of preparation and multiple interviews, I have been offered a position at a growing company in the Bay Area. I am elated at the opportunity and cannot wait to get started. There is just one problem: I am intimidated at the thought of negotiating my salary. When I hear friends talking about their search to find a good job, I often feel I should just be grateful to have this chance. Should I skip the negotiating process altogether, or is this a discussion I will regret not having later?
Your new job sounds like an exciting chapter in your life that will continue to open doors. Congratulations! I think you already know the answer to your dilemma since you mentioned you may regret not at least opening the conversation. I recommend you listen to your gut and work through any hesitation. You will be so glad you allowed yourself to experience this career milestone.
As you prepare to negotiate your salary, keep the following tips in mind:
- Do your homework. This step is crucial since you will want to have a firm grasp on the salary range other professionals in your field with similar experience are earning. Knowing this piece of information will also provide peace of mind and confidence. Remember to pay attention to your region in particular as well. Indeed.com has a helpful search tool to get you started.
- Allow for time in the process. After you have asked for your desired salary amount and stated your reasoning behind the request, get comfortable with the pause. The hiring manager may not have the authority to make a decision on the spot, as it could require approval from the senior management team. Be as gracious as possible, but committed to your desired number at this point.
- Be flexible. If their answer is lower than your ask, decide what will work for your current situation. Are you willing to lower your ask, or would other perks make this job even more appealing? For example, telecommuting one day a week may add value to your quality of life. Or, being reimbursed for continued education, etc. Performance-based bonuses could also be on the table. As they say, “If you don’t ask, you don’t get.”