Negotiating your salary

You know what is scary? getting a job offer you are really excited about and then deciding to negotiate your salary.

Most people, especially women, are afraid to negotiate their salaries.

I recently watched a webinar on women and negotiation that made me feel really passionate about negotiating my first salary. Here is a similar video on negotiation.

After 4 rounds of interviews I thought it was pretty safe to assume I would be receiving a job offer, so I started to read up on negotiation. Some people around me discouraged negotiating my first job, thinking it could jeopardize the job offer.

Here is what I learned from my research:

1. 80% of companies offer you a slightly lower salary than they expect you to accept, they expect you to negotiate.
2. The worst that can happen is they say no, and keep the offer where it stands.
3. Asking for a higher salary while also showing your enthusiasm for the job can highlight your ambition

Once the company has extended a full-time job offer to you it is likely that they want you. You have some leverage. The key is to re-iterate your enthusiasm and excitement for the job in question. It's also good to have a range that you are willing to accept the job in. If the negotiator asks you what you would like to make, give them that range. You can also aim too high. I wouldn't start your range more than 10% higher than the job offer. My range started around 5% higher than my offer.

I decided to negotiate. To me it didn't feel like I had that much to lose. Mostly because I had other job interviews and my current offerer seemed intent on getting me. I let my HR guy know I'd like to discuss it and he set up a meeting with a financial guy. It all worked out and I am glad I asked.

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