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Why do so many JOB candidates come unprepared to the salary negotiation table?
 
The idea of "winging" it seems to be a popular one, but not a very prudent course of action when you consider that the decisions made here, at the time of hire, will have a direct impact on your career for years to come.
 
For example, a loss of $1000 in negotiated annual salary at the start of hire will not only reduce your immediate income, but will reduce your income for the rest of your employment with this company, because all subsequent raises will be based on this lower rate. Over a career life this can mean a loss of thousands and thousands of dollars.
 
Salary negotiation may not present a life or death situation, but it certainly has a direct impact on the quality of one's life. So why do so few people adequately prepare themselves for this part of the job search process? And why do so many choose to navigate blindly, simply hoping for the best?
 
To begin, you need to understand the base figures you'll be working with in your calculations. These are your three key figures:
Your living wage - the minimum income requirements you need to survive. The income required to maintain your rent or mortgage, your utilities, car payment, groceries, fuel, clothing, etc. - the basic necessities. You need to know this number, but you share it with no one. To calculate this figure you need to have to 12 months of records: bills, utilities, etc. You can calculate this with six months, but your figures may not be entirely accurate. You want to add up each category, individually, and then add the categories together. Divide by 12 and you'll have your living wage. Keep in mind that this figure may not address luxury items.
 
Your current worth - at a man's pay scale (in this age of enlightenment, it's still not always equal, so make sure you know the correct figures): research pay scales for individuals at your current skill and qualification level; in this type of position; in this particular industry; in this specific location, and in the current business climate.
 
Top scale: for this type of position, in this type of industry, in this location, and in the current business climate - the amount that would make you jump out of bed on Monday mornings, even if you're not quite there yet.
 
Keep in mind that location is a large factor in pay scale. Just as some locations have higher or lower costs of living (which need to be a factored into your research, in addition to your minimum pay requirements), some markets bear higher or lower compensation rates.
 
Once you have your three key figures in place (living wage, current worth, and maximum pay scale), disregard the living wage. You need to know and understand this figure, because it is essential to your survival, but you won't be using this figure in your salary negotiation with potential employers. This information is for your use and benefit, only. It is the card you keep close to your chest.
If you have done your research well you should have a clear picture of your current job market worth, and you should know what the highest pay scale is for individuals in your field who present the greatest amount of experience and expertise (the top level).
Between these two figures is your salary negotiation starting point.
 
So if you have determined your "current worth" at $45,000 (for your level of experience), and the highest compensation for someone in your field with the greatest amount of experience is $100,000, somewhere between these two numbers is your negotiating salary range.
 
It is always easier to negotiate down, rather than up, and it is practically guaranteed that the potential employer is going to want to negotiate down. Therefore, You want to be able to give the potential employer the room to do this without losing your negotiation advantage or ending up with a compensation that is less than your current market worth - or worse, lower than your living wage.
 
With this information (living wage, current market worth, and maximum pay scale), and with an understanding of the negotiation process (which we will explore in a moment), you now have the figures necessary to negotiate a fair exchange.
Keep in mind that location is a large factor in pay scale. Just as some locations have higher or lower costs of living (which need to be a factored into your research, in addition to your minimum pay requirements), some markets bear higher or lower compensation rates.
 
Once you have your three key figures in place (living wage, current worth, and maximum pay scale), disregard the living wage. You need to know and understand this figure, because it is essential to your survival, but you won't be using this figure in your salary negotiation with potential employers. This information is for your use and benefit, only. It is the card you keep close to your chest.
 
If you have done your research well you should have a clear picture of your current job market worth, and you should know what the highest pay scale is for individuals in your field who present the greatest amount of experience and expertise (the top level).
Between these two figures is your salary negotiation starting point.
So if you have determined your "current worth" at $45,000 (for your level of experience), and the highest compensation for someone in your field with the greatest amount of experience is $100,000, somewhere between these two numbers is your negotiating salary range.
 
It is always easier to negotiate down, rather than up, and it is practically guaranteed that the potential employer is going to want to negotiate down. Therefore, You want to be able to give the potential employer the room to do this without losing your negotiation advantage or ending up with a compensation that is less than your current market worth - or worse, lower than your living wage.
 
With this information (living wage, current market worth, and maximum pay scale), and with an understanding of the negotiation process (which we will explore in a moment), you now have the figures necessary to negotiate a fair exchange. Continued...
 





 
 







































 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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