InformationWeek’s Annual Salary Survey is out and as always provides an interesting look at IT salaries and great insight into what IT workers are thinking about. If you work in the IT industry or employ IT workers, you’ll want to read it. For InformationWeek’s summary of all the results, click here. If nothing else, we all like to compare what we make with what others do!
Salary is usually the most sensitive aspect of entertaining a new job offer. Through the entire interview process, one of the main things anyone wants to know is “how much does the job pay?” But everything you read regarding finding a new job says to never discuss salary, and if you do, don’t be the first to bring it up.
So when salary does eventually come up, many times you are so invested in getting the job, you happily take what is offered. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Salary is always negotiable. And when its done in a respectful and well informed way, can actually gain you respect. So how do you negotiate a salary for a new job?
1. It’s important to realize that the company wants you. They made you an offer so they clearly view you as the best candidate for the position. Many job hunters don’t realize the time and effort that has gone into a hiring decision. The company has vetted you and other candidates and views you as someone with value. Don’t sell yourself short by settling for an offer that you feel is not reasonable.
2. Do your research. Know what the position pays in the city where you will be working. There are many sources for researching salary information including payscale.com, Glassdoor, and CareerBuilder.
3. Be prepared to justify your salary request. Any successful negotiation should include both parties being present with accurate and timely information so that the best decision can be made. Salary negotiations are no different. List out ways that you will bring value to the position and company. Do you have management experience, what problems have you solved for other companies, is your education unique, do you have certifications, etc. Anything and everything from your work and education history should be presented and considered.
4. Greed should never be the driving reason behind your request for a higher salary. Always emphasize throughout the negotiations that you want to settle on an amount that makes sense for both parties. This amount should accurately reflect your value to the company and have nothing to do with your mortgage, car payment, or desire to buy a boat. An employer doesn’t care about the salary that you need or want. They care about getting value for their money.
When it comes to salary negotiations for a new hire, companies rarely give their best offer right out of the gate. Don’t be afraid to negotiate. But do it in a way that is honest and respectful, keeping both parties interest in mind. It will not only make you feel better about your new job, it may actually gain you immediate respect from your new employer.