Money is always an awkward topic, but talking about it with a possible future employer makes it all the more uncomfortable, and scary. It’s a game of who can get what best suits them. The employer is trying to pay you the bare minimum, and all the while you are trying to get the highest offer that you possibly can. If you are anything like me, then you will take the first offer that is given to you because you don’t want to seem to greedy or pushy. But even if talking about money makes you highly uncomfortable, there are less obvious ways to ensure that you are getting the compensation that you deserve.
Don’t Talk About Until They Do – Wait for the latest time possible to talk about this subject. Definitely don’t bring it up in a first interview if they don’t. Salary can be discussed in later interviews or once they offer you the job. You do not want to seem like the job is all about how much money you will be making, even if that is your only goal. That can be a huge turn off to employers.
Let Them Make the First Offer – This is crucial. Just like in a poker match, the first person to give up what they have will most likely lose. So, most of the time employers will low-ball you, knowing full well that they will end up giving up more after you negotiate, but this means you have to actually negotiate. This low figure gives you room to negotiate a higher pay rate or benefits, but if you give an offer first then they will most likely talk you down. Don’t show all of your cards!
Know How Much You’re Worth – Before you interview for the job, do some research on how much people in your same position with about the same qualifications makes in that city or region, especially if this is in a new area you don’t know too well. You don’t want to go in with an extremely high number that scares them off, and you don’t want to give an extremely low number that will allow them to take advantage of your worth.
It’s Not Just About the Dollar Amount – There are other ways of being compensated, so if the offer is low ask what other benefits are offered. They may have great medical and dental insurance or a 401K plan or a company vehicle to take home. Understand that there is more than one way to be compensated.
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