10 Keys to Getting Paid What You?re Worth!

Asking for money is so taboo in our culture that most of us shake in our shoes when we think about negotiating salary. It conjures up our insecurities about not being good enough, not knowing enough, or not being considered valuable enough. We worry that the company will rescind its offer if we ask for what we're worth.

The truth is if you don't negotiate, the employer thinks he or she has paid too much. When you are confident enough to negotiate, your value goes up in the eyes of the employer. You may not get everything you ask for, but if you don't ask you won't get what you are worth! Use these keys to open the locks on your earning potential.

DO YOUR RESEARCH. You must find out what the going rate is for the kind of work you do. Check out online salary surveys and surveys published by professional associations. But remember the best source of salary information is the people who currently work in the field. Ask them for a salary range based on your experience for a given position and industry.

DEMONSTRATE YOUR CAPABILITIES AND EXPERTISE. Sell your skills, knowledge, and expertise from your initial contact with the organization right through to the offer. Know what the employer's problems, challenges, and issues are and demonstrate that you are the best person to solve the problems, meet the challenges, and resolve the issues.

PUT OFF SALARY DISCUSSIONS until after you have been offered the position. When asked about salary requirements or expectations, realize that you have a one in three chance of answering correctly. The odds are not in your favor so shift the conversation to a discussion of the employer's needs and how you can solve their problems. Your goal is to move the employer from concern about their budget to conviction that you are the answer to their problem.

BUY TIME TO CONSIDER THE OFFER. Be gracious and politely request time to evaluate the offer. There are sound reasons why you need time to consider an offer:

? To study and understand the total package.

? To decide how to deal with a salary that may be lower than you expected.

? To discuss the offer with your family, colleagues, or network contacts.

? To plan and execute a successful negotiation strategy.

? To transition from the high of getting the offer to the level-headedness required to negotiate.

? To keep your options open for another offer which you expect to receive shortly.

DEVELOP A NEGOTIATION STRATEGY. Identify multiple options for getting to the compensation level you seek. Maintain a positive attitude and negotiate from the basis of worth not need. Seek win-win solutions.

NEGOTIATE IN PERSON. Because body language and tone of voice are essential to this process, you must negotiate in person rather than by telephone.

RESPOND TO THE INITIAL OFFER WITHOUT REACTING. When the employer quotes a figure, repeat the figure or the top of the range, then keep quiet and silently count to 30. Often the silence will prompt them to immediately bump up the salary.

KNOW WHEN TO WALK AWAY. Make a conscious decision before you sit down to negotiate that you will politely walk away from the opportunity if it doesn't meet your "must have" requirements. Don't accept the position thinking things will change once you are on the job.

GET THE OFFER IN WRITING. Things change; bosses come and go. If you negotiate anything out of the ordinary-additional or early vacation, higher than usual salary, an office with a door instead of a cubicle-get it in writing so that when circumstances change your agreement is still intact.

DELIVER WHAT YOU PROMISED AND MORE. Once you are on the job deliver what you promised and more. Why? For future promotions, salary increases, to protect your reputation, and to give you leverage should things at the company take a turn for the worse.

Mary Jeanne Vincent is the author of Acing the Interview tip cards featuring answers to the top 20 "killer" interview questions. Also included are tips for interviewing in the new economy, ideas for responding to illegal and trick questions, and suggestions for avoiding 10 deadly interview mistakes.

Go to http://www.2bworkwise.com for free job search articles and to sign up for the free WorkWise e-zine. For information on individual job and career coaching or to find out about other practical, easy-to-use career tools call Mary Jeanne at 831.657.9151.

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