Most people would think that IT professionals went through some sort of salary negotiation when they applied and were accepted for the job. Let’s be honest, we all work to earn money, so it is first and foremost in our minds when we get a job offer. But most I.T. professionals find it difficult to negotiate, while others are quite reluctant and shy to discuss just how much they think they are worth. The thing is, whether you are negotiating for your desired salary while still considering that job offer or demanding a raise, salary negotiation is the only way you could get the income you deserve.
Let’s focus on how to enter into salary negotiations when you are first offered the job. Here are some tips.
It makes sense to come into a salary negotiation fully knowing how much your market value is. The last thing you want to do is to give some random number that might be too high or too low.
Admittedly, though, information on the salary of IT practitioners is very difficult to come by. But there are resources that can give you an idea:
Find out what the competitors are paying employees in the same position that you are applying for. Also, take into consideration the professional certifications that you have, your educational background and your working experience. Naturally, a fresh graduate would expect to be paid less than somebody who has already worked in the same capacity for two or three years, while someone who can prove that he or she has the requisite knowledge through professional certification can expect to be offered more as well.
More importantly, make sure that you do not just focus on your previous job titles. Instead, point out your contributions and achievements in your previous jobs to make yourself look more attractive to your prospective employer.
The cardinal rule in negotiating your salary is that you should never be the first to bring it up and you should avoid it until you have been offered the job.
Make sure that the company wants you on board so that it will be much easier for you to negotiate for the amount you are looking for.
This means that when you are asked to fill out an application form or any document asking for your salary requirement, put in “negotiable” or “competitive” or “open”. Avoid putting in a specific amount.
If you are pressed to give a specific salary requirement, then go for a range. A safe rage would be to add around 10% to your last salary and then add $10,000 to come up with your range.
Without being inflexible, be sure that you aim high enough. If the company wants you enough to give you a job offer, then try to get a higher salary for you to work with.
Remember that the odds are on your side. The demand for IT professionals has never been this high since the world’s biggest companies realized how essential IT is to their business success. In fact, a CIO Insight study found that there is a foreseeable job growth in IT-related jobs through 2016.
Also, the Hartford Business Journal Online reports that an increasing number of hiring managers are more open to negotiate salaries now more than ever.
Still, do not be too overconfident and don’t over-negotiate. There are companies that might be unable to give you more than what they have offered, and you might end up not getting the job.
Do not be afraid to negotiate. Everything is negotiable in the business world just as long as you can balance selling yourself without having to be arrogant.
Sell your expertise and what you could bring to the table.
In the event that you do not get the salary that you expect, it might be a good idea to ask what you would need to do to get your desired salary while working for them. Be sure to have these conditions put into writing so that if you achieve their conditions, you can get the salary you want.
This is one form of if-then negotiations, wherein you concede to a lower than expected salary, but with an option to discuss your salary in the near future.
Either that or consider a performance-based bonus, which brings us to the next point:
Take time to consider the benefits and perks that come with your job and if you stand to earn more out of your whole compensation and benefits packages than the amount you have in mind.
No matter how much has been discussed in your salary negotiations, always ask for a formal offer with the final salary in writing. Do not make the mistake of turning down other offers just because you thought that you were offered this much by one company.
So if you are getting offered that dream job, it really is okay to negotiate for your desired salary. Do not fall into the trap of thinking that since you are new to the company, then you do not have the right to bargain. Knowing your limits and your attractiveness to a potential employer can help you know when you are negotiating and when you are going out of bounds.
Probably, the caveats that you have learned about salary negotiation when you were offered the job, you have now would apply when you want to ask for a raise. It never hurts to negotiate. It never hurts to know what the industry standards are and what the fair market value of your job is. You could also ask what benchmarks are going to get you a higher salary.
If you think that you merit more than the across-the-board increase or performance-based raise that your company is giving, then negotiate. Here are some tips to help you get the salary increase you deserve.
If you are asking for additional benefits or an increase in your salary, then be confident that you do deserve it and do not second-guess or doubt yourself. During the job offer, the cardinal rule is that it does not hurt to negotiate, when it comes to raise negotiations, it does not hurt to ask.
ChangingMinds.org defines argumentum ad misericordiam as trying to gain agreement by empathy or sympathy. Most people make the mistake of going through pity tactics or ad misericordiam when asking for a raise. They detail personal problems, which are more or less irrelevant, as a justification for getting a raise. Having too many bills to pay or getting a second mortgage is never a basis for getting a raise.
Instead, talk about how much you deserve and why you deserve it. Be sure to tell your boss about your achievements, the things you have accomplished, what professional certifications you have pursued, and yes, you could tell your boss about what other people in your position are getting.
It would be difficult to get the salary you want if your employer is suffering from financial setbacks. You should be aware of how well your employer is doing financially by checking out business news or the company’s financial reports.
Another important thing to look at is how you are contributing to the company’s bottom line. Sales people have this easy because they work with dollars. It may be more difficult for IT professionals to quantify just how much money they have saved by implementing systems and infrastructure, but you should be able to pinpoint a dollar value to the work that you do.
Furthermore, you might want to take your cue from the experts as to the right timing for a salary negotiation to help you get a raise. Cindy Perman at CNBC.com writes that January might be the right time to ask for a raise when the IT department has a fresh budget. If you have missed that, then your next best bets are in June and July. It really depends on when the business year starts in your company, or when it’s after your busy season.
It is a good practice to show your boss that you do mean business when negotiating for a higher salary. Set up an appointment and treat the negotiation as a business meeting. Face to face negotiations always work better than those coursed through e-mail or telephone.
If your boss says that you are not yet ripe for a raise, then be ready to prove him wrong. If you have consented to a lower salary than what you expected when they gave you the job offer, but you agreed on set conditions that should happen for you to get your desired salary, then show your boss that you have met these conditions.
If you have been in your position for quite some time or it is time for an annual review, then review all the achievements, certifications and skills you’ve acquired starting with the most recent going backwards.
If you do not get the salary that you want, there are a lot of options that you could take. You could wait for a while then ask for a raise again, or you quit your job. When the boss says no, try to figure out if the reasons are valid or not. If it is, you might want to wait it out and correct the criticisms leveled against you, and then ask for a raise. If it is not, then it might be time to find a new job.
It may be a good idea to take a look at what your boss thinks is important rather than what you think is important. You may have achieved a lot of things but these might not be in line with the goals your boss has for your department. For example, you might have completed a Microsoft certification, but your boss puts a premium on Internet security certifications. Know your boss’ priorities. This will make it easier for you to negotiate for a higher salary.
Salary negotiations don’t need to be a nerve-wracking and emotional affair. Done right, salary negotiations could help you get the salary you deserve, whether you are just being offered a job, or when you are asking for a raise. These tips would equip you with the necessary know-how and preparations to enter into a salary negotiation in the right way.
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