You’re worth more. I say this to every millennial that talks to me about how much money they are making no matter how well they think they are getting paid.
Aligning what you think your skills are worth with how much a company is willing to pay you can be challenging. Both sides have to agree on a number that is equally benefitting. Unfortunately, the employers usually win.
This is especially true for millennials that graduated college shortly after 2008 when there were no high paying jobs available but student loans were still there to pay back. This obviously led to the acceptance of any offer that was given. I was definitely in these shoes as I didn’t negotiate the first couple of job offers that I had.
If you were one of these people or you are someone that thinks they should be making more, you need to make sure that you’re prepared to keep the ball in your court the next time around.
Here are 5 tips/strategies to get the most from your next job.
–Research. Look online at sites such as Glassdoor and PayScale to see a range of salaries for similar jobs. These sites can give you an idea of what companies are willing to pay. Remember, not all information on these sites is accurate so you will still want to talk to recruiters, employees at different companies, and any other contacts that you have. If you see a range, always think about the highest number in that range. Knowing what competitors are willing to pay will prepare you for negotiations.
–What are your salary expectations? This may seem like a good opportunity for you to tell the recruiter the highest number you found, but its not. You should avoid saying a number at all costs. Instead, let the recruiter know that you are more interested in learning more about the position and you prefer to talk about pay closer to an offer. This keeps the ball in your court and gives you the ultimate negotiating power. If for some reason you have to give a number, give a range.
–Be a salesman. It doesn’t matter if you are interviewing for an engineering role or the CFO role, you need to be a salesman throughout the whole process. Make sure you know the company, the product, the people, financial strengths of the company, and anything else that you can find. Be confident and efficiently portray your skills without looking desperate. Companies want to be sold the idea of hiring you, so if they buy-in to the idea of having you on their team, they will give you what you want.
–Think about what you want from the job. Is it strictly money or are you looking for something else such as certifications, higher education, or more time off. Maybe you don’t care about any of that and you just want a fulfilling job. Would you be willing to take a lower salary if the company offered to pay for your MBA? Before negotiations, think about all of this stuff and keep these things in mind. Good companies are always willing to invest in your future as long as your future is with them.
–Always negotiate. There are obviously times and jobs where negotiating is out of the picture. A lot of the times, this isn’t the case. No matter what the offer, employers usually keep wiggle room for counter offers so you need to always come back with a larger number. I suggest asking for some time to think about the offer. This not only gives you some time to make a sound decision on the numbers, but also the job itself. Again, this keeps the ball in your court.
No matter what, always remember that YOU ARE WORTH MORE THAN YOUR SALARY. Don’t ever put limits on how much you think your skills are worth. Be confident and know your value. Know that you can do a much better job than any other candidate and make that clear to the employer (without sounding arrogant of course).
If you do your research and come to the playing field knowing you are the best, you will get what you want.