Negotiate Your First Salary Without Turning Off Potential Employers

negotion skillMake sure you get the highest salary possible without scaring off potential employers with these tips.

Salary negotiation can be overwhelming at any stage of your career but especially so if you are about to start your first job. You?re eager to work at the company and want to avoid making waves and turning off your employers by coming across as greedy and unreasonable. Plus, you may feel that you do not deserve a high salary because, well, this is your first job and you are inexperienced.

Why negotiate?
Research indicates that getting even just a couple of thousand dollars more in salary results in more than one million dollars at the end of your career. This is because you?ve had more money upfront to invest. However, do not negotiate if you work in a field with strict pay scale structures. Examples include the military, public schools and governmental entities. Also, if your job is entry level and workers are interchangeable, you should not negotiate. Examples include most barista and cashier positions.

Before you negotiate
Research salaries for your position; find out ranges and geographical variations. Do you have special skills that people who get paid more do? Also, think about what your employer wants and what you can offer. Look at compensation as a whole: salary, benefits, vacation time and the like. Might you have better luck negotiating another area of compensation than you would in salary? Role play the negotiation and practice what you are going to say.

During negotiation
Open slowly and calmly. Defer salary discussions until after the company is ready to offer you the job. After the company makes an offer, be enthusiastic. Reply as soon as possible, even if the offer is on the lower end of the spectrum.

Explain why you are asking for that salary, and point to salaries in comparable positions for people with your qualifications. If you have gotten multiple job offers with higher salaries, detail that. Use data to back up your assertions, and stay realistic. Keep in mind that salary increases per year tend to equal two to three percent.