Should you negotiate salary over email?
Twenty-eight per cent of respondents to PayScale’s Salary Survey said they hadn’t negotiated salary because they were uncomfortable discussing money. If you’re one of them, you might wonder whether email is a solution to your problem. After all, it’s easier to be confident in your request when you can proofread it before the hiring manager “hears” it. (Plus, no one can tell if your palms are sweaty.)
So, can you cut out the uncomfortable conversation and do it over email, instead? The answer is: it depends.
When to negotiate in person/on the phone
If your goal is to get the highest salary possible, having the conversation the old-fashioned way might be your best bet.
Generally speaking, “it’s better to do in person or over the phone,” says Alison Doyle, Job Search Expert at The Balance. “It’s easier to not get yourself locked into a numbers game.”
Negotiating in person gives you the opportunity to adjust your script, based on the feedback you’re receiving from the hiring manager – not to mention, his or her body language, which can be a big tip-off.
When to negotiate over email
If you truly can’t stomach the idea of asking for more money in person, Doyle says email can also work “if you phrase it carefully.” Applicants should mention that they’re very interested in the position, she says, and then ask if there is any flexibility in the compensation package.
“It could also be easier for the employer, because they don’t have to respond right away,” she adds.
Of course, that also means that you have to wait for a response — and bite your nails wondering whether your request was taken the wrong way. Bottom line: it’s probably best to negotiate in person or on the phone if you can manage it … but if you can’t, asking for more is always better than not asking.
Negotiation tips, regardless of how you ask:
1. Know your worth. Many hiring managers will try to peg offers to your salary history, but compensation should be determined by the role, not the candidate’s previous jobs. PayScale’s Salary Survey can help you find the appropriate range for the job and your skills and education.
2. Know what you want to say. Whether you’re negotiating over email or in person, it’s important to choose the right words and ask in the right way. These salary scripts can help you get started. Obviously, you’ll have to adjust based on the responses you get from the hiring manager, but preparation always pays off.
3. Know where to draw the line. Unless you’re desperate for a job, there’s always going to be a rock-bottom number, below which you cannot accept. Know what that number is, before you go into the negotiation — but don’t give it to the hiring manager right off the bat. Never throw out a number you wouldn’t be happy accepting, either as the low end of a range or as a single target. It’s likely to wind up being your offer, and you don’t want to start out the negotiation feeling unappreciated. That’s not in the hiring manager’s best interest or yours.
Originally published by Payscale.
The consequences of not negotiating your salary
Less than half of respondents to Payscale’s Salary Survey reported that they had asked for a raise in their current field — 43 per cent, in fact. Most held back out of fear of negotiating, in some form, whether it was because they were uncomfortable talking about money (28 per cent), unwilling to risk being perceived as pushy (19 per cent), or afraid of losing their job (eight per cent).
So, there’s a lot of fear out there around negotiating salary. The truth is, however, that fear is misplaced: the real danger isn’t negotiating, but not asking for what you deserve.
1. Not negotiating will cost you.
“I tell my graduate students that by not negotiating their job at the beginning of their career, they’re leaving anywhere between $1 million and $1.5 million on the table in lost earnings over their lifetime,” says economist Linda Babcock of Carnegie Mellon University in an interview with NPR.
Blame the snowball effect. See, when you negotiate salary, you’re not just negotiating the number that will appear on your next paycheck. Because most employers give raises in the form of a percentage increase based on current pay, you’re also determining how much you’ll be earning next year, and the year after that.
Even if you change jobs, taking less can hurt you. Although some states are outlawing the practice, employers in areas that permit asking about salary history often include the question as part of the hiring process. Some even ask for tax documents or pay stubs verifying your previous pay. (Which means you can’t lie, not that you would.)
Further, taking less than you deserve can hurt your performance at work. Underpaid workers are less satisfied and less productive – meaning that you might be less likely to earn that raise, anyway.
2. Negotiating probably won’t hurt you.
75 per cent of those who asked for a raise received some kind of a pay increase. If that surprises you, you’re probably among that eight per cent that’s afraid they’ll lose their job for asking.
Your fears, while understandable, are most likely unfounded. The vast majority of employers won’t pull a job offer – or fire you – simply for asking for more money. Especially during the negotiation phase of the interview process, most employers not only accept that candidates will ask for more money, but expect it.
“…as long as you’re not asking for an unrealistic amount, no reasonable employer will pull an offer,” writes Alison Green of Ask a Manager at US News. “That said, some employers do bristle when a candidate tries to negotiate – but that’s the sign of an unreasonable, dysfunctional employer, and you probably would have encountered plenty more dysfunction if you worked there.”
In other words, you have little to risk by negotiating…and you might find out something about your potential employer that could change your mind about taking the job.
3. Fail to negotiate, fail to grow.
Negotiating salary provides benefits beyond more money. It helps you learn how to tackle difficult conversations at work, while being professional, cooperative, and non-adversarial.
The fact is that while asking for more money is unlikely to hurt your career, asking in the wrong way might. The best way to ask for a raise is after a great deal of preparation. Successful negotiators do their research on appropriate salary ranges, prepare their salary negotiation script, and go into the conversation regarding the other party as a negotiating partner, not an adversary.
That last part is important. Being positive, professional, and calm will help build your case – and your career, after negotiations have concluded.
Originally published on Payscale.
4 salary negotiation mistakes to avoid
*Originally published on Payscale.
Scared of salary negotiation? You’re not alone. A recent survey by Payscale found that 28 per cent of people that had never negotiated salary refrained from doing so because they were uncomfortable talking about money.
We get it. Discussions about money can feel awkward or taboo, but it’s important not to let that stop you from getting what is a fair price for your skills and services. If you don’t negotiate, you could be missing out on hundreds of thousands of dollars over the course of your career. And this goes for people just starting out too – even if you’re looking at your very first job, it’s important to get the best salary you can. This is the first step in ensuring you maximize your earnings over your lifetime.
Sure, I know it’s easier said (or typed) than done, but there are a few things to keep in mind to help you get started on the rights salary path.
Here are four common negotiation mistakes to avoid whenever the conversation veers towards salary.
Negotiating by email
Want to know why Internet comments are so mean and spiteful? It’s because people feel more confident when they don’t have to talk to someone face to face. That’s just human nature, but when it comes to salary negotiation, you’ll want to step out of your comfort zone, and that means negotiating in person or on the phone.
The risk with email is that your tone can easily be misinterpreted, and salary negotiation can be a sensitive issue. It’s also much harder (and risky) to interject some humour into the discussion.
Use email instead as a tool to schedule phone calls and meetings, and save some face time for the nitty gritty.
Overlooking other perks
While salary is certainly important, don’t lose sight of what initially attracted you to a job in the first place. Whether it’s the impressive title, a chance to develop new skills, or an excellent benefits package, keep it in mind so that you don’t push for an unrealistic salary. Money isn’t everything when it comes to job satisfaction.
Similarly, are there any other things that would improve productivity and your work-life balance? Would you like to work from home more often? Do you want more vacation time? These should be part of any compensation discussion, so make sure you know what’s important to you.
Being afraid to make the opening offer
It goes against conventional wisdom, but if you wait for the company to bring the first salary offer, you could be missing out. The anchoring principle gives you the advantage. If you throw out the first number or range, you are then setting the parameters of the conversation.
Don’t be afraid to get the conversation rolling, but make sure you know what you’re talking about before bringing it up. Do your research into the position, organization, and common salaries for your job title.
Giving into your nerves
The most crucial element of negotiating salary is to remember that the person you’re negotiating with expects it. It’s a routine part of both the recruiting and job seeking process, so try not to let your nerves dissuade you from negotiation.
Don’t rush yourself or the conversation. Come prepared with current research, and make sure your requests are in line with industry standards. Most of all, though, don’t simply accept the first number that’s offered. Just keep repeating: this is part of the process.