By Stacy Harshman, Career Management Coach
Picture this: you have sailed through grilling interviews, wowed the hiring manager, and now you have been offered a job! You ecstatically accept the offer on the spot. The next day you wonder, “Should I have negotiated for a higher salary?” It is a painful question, so before you are in that situation, take some time to plan your strategy.
Research salaries- Before you accept an offer, research the job’s salary range. There are several internet sites you can utilize: www.salary.com, www.salaryexpert.com, www.payscale.com, and www.jobstar.org. Knowing the salary range will help you determine where your offer lies in relation to what other companies are paying.
Know what benefits are being offered- When most of us hear the term “compensation” we typically only think of the money we receive in our paycheck each payday. However, “total compensation” goes beyond salary, it is the complete pay package for employees and their families. This includes all forms of money, benefits, services, and other “perks” available to employees, which are used by the employer to attract, motivate and retain.
To have a clear understanding of the value of the package that you are receiving, request that benefit information be given in writing before accepting a job. Take into consideration that rich benefit packages may compensate for lower salaries.
Know your target compensation- Consider your target range. It may be easier to break down these ranges into three areas: 1. Lowest number that you will accept 2. Amount that you will accept and feel that you are being adequately compensated 3. Your ideal salary as commanded by top performers in that job.
Evaluate the offer- After you have completed your research and have an understanding of what your target compensation is, you can better evaluate the offer to see if you want to negotiate. If the offer falls under the lowest number that you will accept, you will know that you will want to negotiate for more; however if the number falls within your ideal number, you may want to accept it on the spot.
Make the decision and don’t look back- Once your decision is made, trust that you made the best choice and go on. Remember it is a time to celebrate that you received an offer!