Many people have difficulty asking for or even discussing money. Reasons for this range from culture and upbringing to self-worth and skill set. While I’ve been an executive and career coach for over 15 years, I’m no psychologist. If you need a little couch time (and there’s nothing wrong with that) seek out a qualified therapist. However, if your issue is skill based or a natural reluctance to engage in an albeit uncomfortable conversation, try the following best practices when you find yourself embroiled in the salary discussion.
- Avoid Giving a Salary Requirement: When provided this information, many employers will start with an offer on the lower end of their range. To keep the upper hand, delay discussions until they ask. Once they commit to a number, you can counter with a higher figure.
- Don’t Give Your Current Salary: It’s irrelevant and frankly none of their business. Somehow we’ve been tricked into believing employers have a right to this data. They don’t. You don’t ask you plumber to provide you with a list of what he charged other people in the neighborhood, so why does this apply to corporate jobs? When asked about your current salary, softly turn the tables by inquiring as to the company’s “typical range” for the position.
- Make a Counter: When they make an offer, always ask for an additional concession. This could come in the form of straight salary, additional vacation, or other ancillary benefit such as a sign on bonus.
- Don’t Leave Money on the Table: Be sure to consult the calendar. If you are due for a raise, bonus, or other perk e.g. tuition reimbursement, in three months or less, make sure that is factored into the final offer.
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