For many job-seekers, one of the most distasteful parts of the process is what comes after a successful interview, namely the salary negotiation. While this discussion can be difficult for the unprepared, there are important points to keep in mind as you negotiate a salary with a prospective employer.

1. Don’t talk money until they show you they really want you

Only bring up the salary and job offer negotiation after the employer has invested time and effort into your hiring, brought you in for interviews, spent time with you, and made it clear they want to hire you.

2. Keep it intellectual, not emotional

Emotional responses in salary discussions have been equated with fear, desperation and self-focus, so it’s important to keep it focused on the company and its business. Think of yourself as a unique solution for the company’s problems, an asset, as well as an investment.

3. Take a break to evaluate an offer

People can feel overwhelmed when they first receive a job offer and can feel pressure to respond quickly. It is crucial to take time to go home and evaluate the offer and avoid getting rushed into a “yes.” Chances are, the initial offer you were given is not a complete offer and the company has not disclosed every detail of its proposal.

4. Don’t focus only on salary; everything is negotiable

There are plenty of options when it comes to your future work environment and getting what you want. Whether you can work from home, healthcare plans, overtime and vacation are all examples of negotiable elements that can be taken up at this time.  

5. Gather data and know how much you are worth

You should gather information through interviews to help you understand what you want in your offer and your requirements, as well as what the company is willing to give. Don’t share too much; instead, ask questions. Know the market value of the job you are applying for — know what someone will pay to get it done. After all, that determines how much you’re worth.

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