This may seem like an inopportune time to consider negotiating but the fact is, negotiation is always in vogue. Whether the timing is right for you depends upon what you have to offer and how you present it.
One of my clients, a post-doctoral candidate in his 20’s, received an offer for a dream position that ticks off all of his must have’s and then some. The offer was a couple of thousand dollars lower than anticipated. Because his skills were in high demand and the employer was in a hurry to close the deal he decided to explore negotiating.
He researched salaries for similar positions and discovered the typical salary was about $5,000 higher than the offer. He read up on negotiating and then contacted me to get more comfortable with the process.
We prepped how to set up the conversation, and when and how to discuss those aspects of compensation most important to him. There were two areas he wanted to negotiate: salary and relocation expenses. Moving assistance was an important consideration since he would be moving from one coast to the other with his young family. I stressed the importance of conveying his genuine interest in the position while opening the door to negotiation. After role-playing key parts of the conversation, he was confident he could ask for what he wanted.
Here are some keys to unlocking your earning potential even in a tight job market.
Sell your expertise from initial contact with the organization right through to the offer. Throughout the interview process demonstrate your understanding of the employer’s challenges and highlight your ability to solve them.
Put off salary discussions until you have been offered the position. Shift the conversation to the value you will bring to the organization. Express confidence that if you are the right person for the job you will be able to agree on appropriate compensation.
When you receive the offer express excitement and ask for time to consider it. It is reasonable to ask for a few days to review it with your family.
Do your homework. This is essential! And, it is what helped my client decide to negotiate. He used Glassdoor and the university’s own website to gather data. There he discovered important information about compensation ranges and the university’s relocation policy.
Develop a negotiation strategy and rationale. In my client’s case, he has expertise in some specific areas that are highly prized in today’s COVID environment. Knowing that helped him position his value.
Prepare. For most of us that means roleplaying the conversation so we can work through our discomfort. Practice expressing enthusiasm, framing your ask and sharing why you are worth more.
While negotiating in person is ideal, during a pandemic that is not the wisest choice. Instead, negotiate via video conferencing. Doing so provides visual cues as to what the other person is thinking enabling you to adjust your approach and demeanor.
Once you have agreed, get it in writing. Things change, people come and go. If you want the agreement to stick, get it in ink.
Finally, deliver what you promised and more.
©2020 Mary Jeanne Vincent. All rights reserved.