Money is such a taboo subject in America that when it comes time to negotiate a salary, you may not have had enough practice talking about money to feel good about it. This can lead to costly mistakes when you are settling into a fresh graduate job. However, if you know ahead of time that you might want to negotiate a salary, preferably before you’ve agreed to come to work, then it’s time to learn a few new tricks.
1. Psyche Yourself Up
Yes, it can put knots in your stomach just thinking about it. What if you ask for too much? What if you didn’t ask for enough? Negotiations can leave us questioning ourselves, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Once you realize that talking money is always part of doing business, you can reduce the butterflies and actually get down to business.
2. Research Competing Salaries
You can settle your nerves by having some facts on hand for when negotiates officially start. Don't do it before. What is the average starting salary for a position of this type? Can you make a case for a higher salary due to geographic location (i.e. higher standard of living) or because of extra demands? Have some actual numbers in your hand, if you think negotiations are likely to come up.
3. Talk It Through
Practice asking for what you want as well as listening to the replies. Allow space in the conversation for objections as that’s a natural part of negotiations. If you establish a relationship of trust, then this is just one more step on the long road to getting hired.
4. Seal the Deal
Once verbal negotiations are done, ask to put the offer in writing. This is pretty standard with salary negotiations and it keeps out future misunderstandings. Then, when you get the official offer read it through to make sure it’s how you discussed before signing it and accepting the entry level job.
Haven't gotten a job offer to negotiate yet? Search for new grad jobs at FirstJob.com.