Salary negotiation should start keeping your bottom line salary in mind. If that salary can not be met, you must be comfortable walking away from the salary negotiation. To succeed in any type of salary negotiation, you must be willing to walk away. Look a little closer …
Salary negotiation can be learned. Some work with a skilled coach to learn how to market their skill better to organizations. This can increase your perceived value and financial standing. You sabotage your career success and financial standing by accepting a job offer you should really walk away from. How do you know when to walk away from a salary negotiation?
Look at poor Steve. His interviewer began by ridiculing items on his resume and discounting real experience. After his entire resume had been verbally chopped, Steve had to get up and leave the interview. Later, when he talked to his contact for this interview, the explanation was that this was just the interviewer's style and that Steve might have offered the position had he stayed. But Steve did not regret his move. In fact, several months later Steve saw the interviewer's name in the paper. He was the subject of an investigation for the mistreatment of staff. Steve listened well to his internal mechanism or "gut" while in this interview.
Here are several situations that should give you a red flag when in salary negotiation:
Salary Negotiation Red Flag # 1 – An employee that is inflexible and displays no respect.
They do not respond to e-mails, can not find time for a meeting, can only be available via telephone for a few minutes at a particular time or demand a quick response. They have not decided they WANT YOU. Walk away.
Salary Negotiation Red Flag # 2 – Try as you may, they just will not negotiate.
Often HR never gives you their best offer first unless you hear the words "This is a firm offer." However there are more things to negotiate than other salary (at least 26 other things I walk through with my clients). No matter what option you propose whether it be a different start date, job duties, more vacation, professional training, tuition reimbursement, company car or cell phone, they will not budge. This is probably a good indication of how they will negotiate in the future on salary or these items. Walk away.
Salary Negotiation Red Flag # 3 – An employee that is not on their best behavior during the interview process.
They may be derogatory about your work experience or your value as they were with Steve above. They may simply be nonchalant or cut off your answers before you can complete your thought. This is probably a taste of how they will address you as an employee. "Believe them when they show you who they are the first time." They are showing you what they will be like as an employer. Walk away.
Salary Negotiation Red Flag # 4 – Being unwilling to see the situation for what it truly is and continuing to go forward with unfavorable terms.
Salary negotiation should not move you into an unfavorable situation because of fear, bills, a slow economy, or higher unemployment. Pull out of your tunnel vision and look around you. Talk to your career coach, a trusted friend or adviser. Trust your internal mechanisms and intuition. Be secure in the value you possess. If you take the job embrace the fact that this is a stop gap job and not a resting place or career!
I know what you are thinking. You could not possibly walk away from any salary negotiation in this shaky economy. Unemployment is up as well as layoffs. Obviously, during a slow economy it is easier to discount that strong negative reaction to the position or salary negotiation because you believe jobs are scarce. STOP! Try to see all of your opportunities. Do not be pressured into accepting an inferior position with an inferior salary because of fear. You continue to bring the same value to the organization in a slow economy as you would in a growing economy. There is still a market value to that worth.
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