As an employee, having the ability to negotiate your own pay and benefits is not a luxury that is afforded to everyone. If you are in a position that allows such freedom, however, it is of paramount importance that you take full advantage of the opportunity. It is equally important that you express your needs in a professional and courteous manner, and there are a number of steps you can take to ensure that your point is made without any ill feelings or misplaced resentment.
While an average job seeker may go into an interview or recruitment session well-prepared in other ways, they often lack the ability, initiative or skills to command a successful negotiation. Skilled and experienced job seekers, on the other hand, always go into such opportunities with their negotiation skills sharpened and refined. An often overlooked part of the interview process, having strong negotiation skills is key to preparedness and obtaining your dream job.
Take a Proactive Approach
It’s important to assume a proactive approach when negotiating your salary or benefits. While it is crucial that you state your needs in a manner that is heard and understood, it’s equally important that you listen to what the other party is saying. This allows you to take a proactive approach to the negotiation process and helps you respond appropriately to any of their concerns, offers or points.
Maintain an Open Mind
One should always approach negotiations with an open mind. Flexibility is the key to success with any negotiation, and you have to be willing to engage in the give-and-take process. As such, make sure you are open to any suggestions made by the other party and always take the time to consider any offers with a serious demeanor. Obviously you won’t have to accept any offers that aren’t favorable, but seriously considering the other party’s offers or counteroffers can go a long way in determining their own flexibility moving forward.
Paraphrase When Appropriate
When appropriate, don’t hesitate to paraphrase or reiterate what the other party has just said. Not only does this ensure a strong understanding of any concepts or agreements, but it can also play a key role in tailoring your offer to that of the other person.
Get Any Agreements in Writing
At the conclusion of a successful negotiation process, it’s critical that you obtain written evidence of any agreements, stipulations and outcomes. You can feel free to take your own notes during the negotiation processes, but they might not be validated without documentation from your employer or manager. As such, always make sure to obtain a hard copy of any signed documents or agreements before leaving the office.
Show Your Gratitude
Once you’ve completed all of the steps outlined above and you are ready to finalize your agreement, don’t forget to take a minute to express your gratitude for your employer’s time and consideration. Not only does this demonstrate a strong sense of appreciation on your behalf, but it also helps to ease any tension that can sometimes occur from a serious negotiation.
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