| You have worked hard at finding your next job. You have come through many obstacles and have reached your career objective. You have received a job offer. You’re thrilled. Mission accomplished. After all, what else is left to do?|
A majority of job candidates do not negotiate their offer. They are happy just to have received it. They just want to start their new job and start getting paid again. Besides, there's a myth that the process of negotiating could turn the employer off and cause the offer to be rescinded? Does this kind of thinking sound familiar?
Offer negotiations are certainly an optional part of the job search process. You don’t have to negotiate. Should you? Absolutely! In fact, when you don’t negotiate, negative ramifications can occur.
For example, you’re in Sales or Customer Support or any other profession that requires a persuasive style. As a final “test”, an employer may extend to you the position contingent upon how persuasive you are at negotiating the offer. If you don’t negotiate, or negotiate poorly, you lose. A runner-up may be offered the position on a similar basis.
Even if you are not in a profession that requires a persuasive style, you should seriously consider engaging in a negotiating process. Employers expect you to negotiate. There is always a higher amount that you can receive over and above the compensation you are initially offered. How much more will be a function of the bargaining chips you have, and the finesse used to negotiate them.
Let’s take stock of the bargaining chips you may have:
• Your educational degrees
• Being currently employed (assuming you are)
• Your level of expertise and number of years in the field
• The salary you currently command
• Your assessment of your true worth
Depending upon the type of position you are seeking, each of these areas has validity and relevance, and a specific “chip” value that can be called upon when negotiating. Probably the most esoteric yet most valuable of these is your own assessment of worth.
Your true worth is far greater than your current compensation, or what a salary calculator would reveal. Your worth can be defined by what you bring to the table that is unique and valuable. Look at the skills, strengths, core competencies, marketable assets and accomplishments you can declare as your own. This is what describes your uniqueness. It is what differentiates you from the crowd.
What number would you associate with your worth? If you’re having difficulty coming up with a figure, just ask your spouse or best friend how much they think you are worth. You’ll probably get a surprisingly high yet fairly accurate number. Let’s assume you came up with one million dollars. I know, that doesn’t even come close. The point is, can you expect an employer to pay you this amount as your compensation?
For sure, salary negotiations based on your true worth or unique gifts take on a whole new dimension. No, you probably won’t be compensated one million dollars; however, with the right blend of negotiating skills and patience, your efforts will be substantially rewarded!
I have seen up to forty thousand dollars added to starting compensation through diligent negotiations. It is common for signing bonuses, stipulations calling for substantial six-month performance-based increases, several weeks of additional vacation time, stock options, profit sharing, and more to be added as part of a negotiated package.
Negotiating is an opportunity to get what you truly want, and deserve. It is a way to significantly raise your standard of living and sense of self, simply by taking stock of what you have and then knowing how to use it for your advancement. Remember, what you receive now becomes your benchmark for future positions.
We all have choices. Some people would rather keep things the way they are. That’s ok. However, you have worked very hard to come to this point, so why stop short of getting what you truly want, and deserve. Wouldn’t you rather be compensated more on the basis of what you’re worth than on some arbitrary figure designed to keep the status quo? Go for what you are worth – your life will never be the same!
Copyright © 2005 TopDog Group All rights reserved.
About the Author
David Richter is a recognized authority in career coaching. His extensive knowledge and experience gained from many years in recruitment, outplacement and career management has allowed David to formulate powerful strategies anyone can use to secure interviews and receive offers. David holds Masters in both Engineering and Counseling Psychology. Visit: http://www.procareercoach.com
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