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Career Essentials Newsletter May 2005 - Salary Negotiations

[Career Essentials] Newsletter May 2005 - Salary Negotiations

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An e-mail newsletter designed to transform the way you think about your career… and to help you face Mondays with a smile!
by Dale Kurow, M.S., Career & Executive Coach


Welcome, new subscribers and loyal readers!

I spent a great “girls’ weekend” at the end of April with my dear friend Liz in Sag Harbor. The beach was invitingly empty and we enjoyed our walk, our Mexican dinner and shopping for flowering plants. It was such a refreshing getaway and I came back with a renewed feeling of calm and peace.

When was the last time you did something to renew your spirit?

This month’s topic focuses on salary negotiation tips. If you’re in the midst of looking for a new job, or due for a salary review, read on for information that can impact your bottom line.

Enjoy the glorious Spring weather!

To Your Success,

Salaries On The Rise: Workers can expect slightly larger pay raises in 2005. The average worker can expect a 3.7 percent increase this year; raises averaged 3.6 percent in 2004.
Thanks to Career Management Institute for this info!

Salary Negotiations

I just finished reading a terrific book called Negotiating Your Salary, Negotiating Your Salary: How to Make $1000 a Minute (the revised and updated edition) by Jack Chapman. Jack is a guru in the career development field. His book is a very practical, down-to-earth guide on how to significantly increase your salary and raises.

Do you know what salary you can command in the marketplace?

More importantly, how well do you handle your own salary negotiations?

If you’re like most of us, salary expectations is (are?) an uncomfortable subject to discuss.

However, by facing the salary issue head-on and preparing ahead of time, you can take control of the process and significantly increase your income.

The basic principle of Jack’s book is to delay telling your prospective employer what your salary expectations are until you are sure there’s a fit.

This is easier said than done.

Have you felt the pressure to divulge your salary expectations and the trepidation that if you didn’t, you’d alienate the interviewer?

Back in the Mesozoic era when I was a recruiter for Charles of the Ritz, my very first questions to a candidate were: what is your current salary and what salary are you looking for?

Most applicants answered my salary questions.

However, there was the rare case where the applicant deflected salary questions. It was uncomfortable for both of us for a few seconds, as I’m sure the candidate did not want to get on my bad side. It passed. But I remember thinking: “this candidate is earning either too high or too low a salary for us.”

Did it stop me from moving forward with this candidate? No.

Did I suspect s/he was hiding something? Yes.

So what’s the best course of action?

Here’s a suggestion response:

“I’m really interested in discussing how my skills fit this position and how I can contribute to your organization. Salary is important to me, but not the major consideration. I’m sure you offer a competitive salary (what are they going to say - no?) and we can agree on a fair salary if you decide I’m the right person for the job.”

There are several reasons why it truly is in your best interest to delay salary discussions:

  • You need to get a handle on exactly what the job requirements are and the scope/level of responsibility before you can intelligently discuss salary.

  • You need to know your fair market value (check out http://www.salary.com) and the value of the additional expertise, training and talents you bring to this position. For example, you may possess expert level experience in a software program that is unique to your industry. You could consider adding ($2,000-5,000) to your asking salary. That’s at least what it would cost the company to bring a less experienced person up to speed.

  • Once you have determined that this job is a fit, you need to sell yourself to the interviewer beforehand (prime the pump), so that when you do reach salary discussion time, they want you and are more willing to be flexible about your starting salary.

  • You need to be knowledgeable about other perks that you can negotiate for if salaries are locked-in at set levels (this usually only occurs in government jobs). For example: sign-on bonus, performance bonus, early performance review cycle, stock options, expense account, car allowance, additional vacation, memberships in industry organizations, etc.

When you’re thinking about making a big purchase (a car, an appliance) don’t you shop around, deciding if the item meets your needs, looking at consumer reports and negotiating for the best deal?

Why would you do any less with your salary negotiations?

I recommend you read Jack’s book Negotiating Your Salary: How to Make $1000 a Minute

I also offer telecoaching, so if you’d like to rehearse what you’re thinking of saying beforehand, call me at 212/787-6097 or email: dkurow@nyc.rr.com to set up a consultation. I offer a 30-minute session for $90.00. Clients have said it’s the best investment they’ve ever made.

A better salary and bigger salary increase can be yours!

Author: Dale R. Kurow, M.S.

Dale Kurow is a career and executive coach who helps individuals find success and personal enrichment at their vocations and who works with corporations to maximize the potential of valuable employees.

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