Written by Simon Beaufort
Congratulations! You’ve just been made an offer for the job you applied for. Now you’re ready to discuss your salary, it’s important to be prepared for the negotiation process. This process can be a daunting one. After all, you don’t want to aim too high and upset your future employer, but starting out negotiations too low may mean selling yourself short.
You may decide that writing a salary negotiation email is your preferred approach. Salary negotiation emails give you the advantage of taking your time, but writing them can be a cumbersome process if you don’t know how to prepare for negotiating a salary that reflects your skills.
There are several things to consider, but here are some top tips to propel you towards negotiating a successful outcome.
Take Negotiating Skills Training
The most important part of planning a salary negotiation email is knowing the best approach to achieve your optimal outcome. Consider taking a negotiating skills training as an effective route in not only preparing yourself for negotiating your salary but also in equipping you with the necessary tools to perform optimally once in the position. Find a suitable course which teaches these skills, which should prove to be valuable assets in all aspects of your life beyond just your work.
Think About Your Field
Now that you’ve honed your negotiation skills, you need to understand the typical salary for your field. There is often a ceiling to how much you can command according to which field you are in. For example, while social workers can make up to $50,000, doctors or engineers usually command a lot more. The salary will often depend on the skills needed in your field, so be realistic about your expectations.
Job advertisements will often give a salary window of what they think the job is worth. However, make sure you understand and research the required job skills of your job. Your knowledge of these skills and the value the market places on these skills will show how prepared and professional you are.
Know Your Own Worth
Understanding how marketable your skills are is a big step in knowing what you are worth. Make sure you realize just how valuable a contribution you make to the company. Your skills and experience made you a strong candidate for the job you’re about to be hired for. As a result, you should let your employer know that you recognize your own worth. Don’t be afraid to “toot your own horn.”
Consider Your Location
Next, the cost of living should be considered as a major part of your decision. Living in a new neighborhood might mean having different and higher expenses. Before using your negotiating skills from your training course to ratchet up your salary, you need to consider all expenses. Your expenses may include rent or mortgage, travel, associated bills, and food- different cities require different amounts for these essential costs of living so do your research.
The location of your job may also dictate how big the salary offer you receive is. Companies in bigger cities will usually pay more for a job because living in a bigger city tends to be more expensive. Even if you live in a smaller town 20 minutes away, you will still have to commute, which costs gas money. Knowing where the job is and how far you must travel each day should, therefore, be considered as part of your expectations.
Getting Started with the Salary Negotiation Email
Now that you know what to research, it’s time to move forward. After refreshing your skills from your negotiations training, and considering the points above, make a start in the negotiation process by setting time aside to communicate your expectations.
1. Be Respectful
Remember that your email should be presented as a discussion rather than a demand. After all, you’re negotiating with your potential future employer and the last thing you want to do is sound rude, as negotiations will most likely end there—perhaps costing you your new job. You should present your email in a calmly worded manner, with a respectful tone.
2. Give Reasons for Your Negotiation Position
If you think the salary your employer is offering is too low, explain why your skills, prior training, and experience are great assets to them. Show your employer why you’re worth it. Be confident in your credentials—your skills and experience are why the employer has made you an offer, so remind your potential boss of your expertise and why this warrants the salary you are negotiating for—don’t be afraid to brag a little.
3. Consider Benefits vs. Salary
Some companies may only be able to offer certain, limited salaries. However, these companies may also offer great benefits as an alternative, so if your company offers you a benefits package, you should also consider these perks alongside the salary. Quite often, employers will offer health insurance, gym membership, pension, and paid leave.
These benefits can be as valuable as a bigger salary because they represent money you won’t have to pay out of pocket. Consider the money you won’t have to spend thanks to these benefits when considering your expectations.
4. Plan Your Compromises
You may have to compromise during the negotiation process. You want to be a team player, and don’t want the reputation of being inflexible and uncompromising. Don’t make the rookie mistake most on negotiation seminars make by opening with what you want.
Ask for more so that you can compromise by retreating within your position. It’s likely your employer has left themselves with some room to negotiate by offering less than they have in their budget.
5. Be Patient
Your willingness to compromise may be looked upon favorably. As time moves forward, your experience and diligence may be rewarded as showing company loyalty. It may take time, but your company should see how much of an asset you are to the team. Of course, continued application of all that you’ve learned from negotiations training will help you navigate your path to success.
Once your company sees how valuable you are to the team, your chances of getting the higher salary you asked for may increase. Remember, your patience and newfound negotiations prowess should pay off in time. Your cool-headed preparation will more than likely secure you the salary you deserve.
The salary negotiation process takes research, time, and the ability to show how much effort you are willing to put in to fit in with the team. However, doing so now will let your bosses see how committed you are to the job. Once they see that you are willing to do what it takes to succeed, your efforts should be rewarded. So, move forward with the knowledge you have, and present your salary negotiation positions in a respectful manner to optimize your chances of achieving a successful outcome.
Simon Beaufort is a long-time content creator and editor. Through his writings, Simon brings the best and most important negotiating lessons to a business audience. He also enjoys the opportunity to work with skilled negotiators, integrating best practices into his own life.