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How To Prepare For a Salary Negotiation

How To Prepare For a Salary Negotiation

How much should you receive for your services and your skills? What is the right value for you? How much are you worth as a professional? This should be your line of thinking when you are scheduled to go to the negotiating table with a future employer.

In short, when you are applying for a job and getting ready for an interview, you also need to prepare for a salary negotiation. It’s a given: after the initial interview, and perhaps after a series of tests, the future employer will start discussing salaries. That will come when they are considering hiring you.

When you and the prospective employer have reached this phase, you must be ready and prepared. Even prior to preparing for the initial interview, you must clarify some points in your head and let these points sink into your system.

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8 points to clarify before going to the negotiating table.

1. If you’re presently employed, how much are you currently receiving?

Your ultimate aim here is to decide how much your ideal salary is, and if worse comes to worst, what is acceptable. If you think your present pay is lower than the prevailing salary rate, go out and do your due diligence.

Contact people who are in the know. You can also get information from job agencies and government institutions dealing with job placements, but the best option is to research and contact the officers in the company you want to work for who may be able to give you their figures.

2. If you’re not presently employed, how much was your last salary?

Go dig out your employment records from your past employers. Review your salaries when occupying specific positions. If you find them and you have a bit more time, get certifications that you worked there, and get proof that you got paid a certain amount.

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3. Gather your credentials.

You must take stock of the skills, training, seminars, experiences, and achievements gained or undertaken during past employment. These, and many other considerations, constitute a comprehensive basis for your worth as an employee — and your value as a member of a company.

4. Find out prevailing salary ranges.

Do your research to find out the prevailing market value of a worker with your experience and skills. This  was mentioned in point 1, but if this is your first job you will find this information will help you a lot to negotiate a fair salary.

5. Dig deeper: how much are other companies paying?

It would also be beneficial to dig further to find out how much most of the companies hiring in your field are willing to give as a salary for similar positions. In the middle of your negotiations you can casually mention these figures. That way the prospective employer knows that you are aware of the current rates and benefits attached to the offer. (Intimidate a little. That will help, promise!)

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Some companies, for instance, pay a lower base salary, but they compensate for this with more benefits; or they offer training and education opportunities. One company that hired me offered medical benefits, paid holiday and vacation leave, plus yearly rice, medicine, and clothing allowances.

When you prepare to negotiate, it’s in your best interest to study these aspects.

6. What does your position entail?

You need to know how hard it is to do the job at hand. Find out its nitty gritty: the tasks involved, the risks, every small detail about it. Additionally, ask these questions: Will you need to have long commutes? Will you need to relocate? Do you need to take the night shift? These are all details you have to know. From the interviewer’s answers, and their implications, you can come up with a reasonable figure. These details can also be used as bargaining chips to raise your salary.

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7. Allow the employer to bring up the subject of salary.

A wise negotiation tactic you can apply is to let the person interviewing you give a salary range prior to offering up an amount. Don’t bring it up yourself. That way you’re playing within the employer’s budget and not shooting too far out of the court, which might cause them to not consider you anymore.

8. Psych yourself up.

Negotiating about money is stressful. You have to prepare your mental faculties, your body, and your spirit. You need to have a restful interlude — at least two to three days before the appointment. Have enough quality sleep, eat healthy meals, and go for long walks. This will relax you and cool you down prior to gearing up for the big day.

And…you’re ready for the kill! If you have covered these eight points, you can walk to the negotiating table with confidence.

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Anthony Dejolde

Freelance Writer/Blogger/Copywriter

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Published on September 17, 2018

How Being Smart With Your Money Leads to Financial Success

How Being Smart With Your Money Leads to Financial Success

Achieving financial success is not something that just happens. Maybe if you win the lottery or something, but for the average person like you or me, it comes from a series of small steps you take over a long period of time.

With each step, you form a new smart money habit. And with each smart money habit, you build towards financial independence.

So what sort of habits can you form to get on that path? Let’s take a look at smart money habits you can start today to get you closer to a financially independent future.

1. Avoid being “penny wise but pound foolish”

It’s tempting to try saving a couple cents here and there when buying small items. However, that’s not where the real money is saved. You’re putting in extra effort for something that doesn’t move the needle.

You get the most bang when you’re able to cut down on your bigger bills. For example, finding a lower interest rate for your mortgage could save you $50+ per month. And cutting your transportation bill by purchasing a cheaper car or taking public transportation can provide large gains as well.

So, look at your recurring expenses such as housing, transportation, and insurance, and see where there’s wiggle room. It’s a much better use of your time than trying to pinch pennies here and there on smaller purchases.

2. When you want something big, wait

Impulsivity can get you in trouble in most aspects of life. Finances are no different.

It’s human nature to see something and want it right then and there. It starts as a kid in the checkout line at the grocery store, and it continues on through adulthood.

We get an idea in our head of something we want, and it’s hard not to go out and get it right then.

A good example is wanting a new car. Perhaps you’ve had your car for several years. It’s crossed the 100k mile mark. Maybe maintenance is due, and you’re annoyed that you need to replace the timing belt or purchase new tires.

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So, you get the itch.

You start digging around online, and you realize you could trade in your current car for something newer and more exciting… all for a few hundred bucks a month. Then you get obsessed.

Here’s where you have to take a step back.

Your newfound obsession is clouding your judgement. Rather than giving into the impulse, wait it out.

Set a timeframe for yourself. Maybe you come back to the decision three months down the road. See if the obsession lasts.

It might, but often, a funny thing happens. Often, you forget about it. And often, you find that the new car wasn’t a need at all.

The impulse faded. And you just saved yourself a ton of money.

3. Live smaller than you can afford

You finally get that big raise. And you want to celebrate – and why not?

You’ve been looking forward to this forever. And after all, it was all due to your hard work.

That’s fine, splurge a little. However, make it a one-time deal and be done.

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Don’t get caught in the trap that just because you’re now making more money, you should spend more.

Too often, people get more money and feel like they that gives them the means to buy a bigger house, a bigger car… you know the drill. Resist.

The fact is that living smaller than what you can afford is one of the fastest ways to build savings.

But if you constantly upgrade as you begin to make more, then you’ll never get ahead. You’ll just build up more debt along the way and have just as little wiggle room as before.

4. Practice smart grocery shopping

Food… it’s one of the biggest portions of any budget. And if you’re not careful, it can be one of the biggest drains on your wallet.

But luckily, there are a few things you can do to ensure that you stay smart with your money when buying groceries.

Create a grocery budget

Set a strict weekly grocery budget. When you know how much you can spend on groceries, you can then plan your weekly menu around it.

Once you know what all you need, you can go shopping and keep a running tally as you shop to ensure you’re on track.

I tend to do this in my head, rounding for each item. However, writing it down as you go would probably work best for most people.

Make a list… and never deviate

Never go to the grocery store without a list. If you go to the store with a ballpark idea in mind, you don’t have a true ide of what you need.

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You’re not well-researched. You don’t know what the sales are. As a result, you’re going to make decisions on the fly.

These impulse decisions will lead to overspending, which will derail your grocery budget.

Eat before going grocery shopping

It’s also important to eat prior to going to the grocery store. Hunger is a powerful force.

If you’re shopping on an empty stomach, everything is going to look good. In particular, you may find a lot of ready-made, processed snacks will look enticing.

After all, you’re hungry now and that food is easily available. So subconsciously, you may lean towards those items.

Unfortunately, not only are those items typically less healthy, but they’re likely more expensive. You pay for convenience.

However, when you eat prior to shopping, then you’ll shop with a clear mind. Your hunger won’t cloud your judgement, influencing you to make poor decisions like a cartoon devil resting on your shoulder whispering in your ear.

This makes it much easier to stick to your grocery plan.

5. Cancel your gym membership

Now that you’re all set on your food, it’s time to get smart about managing your budget in terms of physical fitness. And let’s begin by avoiding the gym. The gym bill, that is.

The average gym membership costs around $60 per month. That’s $720 a year.

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Yet, two out of three gym memberships go unused. That means two-thirds of people who have a gym membership are literally giving away almost a thousand bucks a year. It’s crazy!

I recommend seeking an alternative. One good alternative is to look into fitness streaming services.

Streaming services allow you to stream hundreds of workouts like Insanity and p90x, right in your own home for around $10-20 a month. That’s $40-50 less a month than the average gym membership.

Of course, then there’s the free option. The internet is full of free workouts that you can do on your own with minimal or no equipment.

For example, there’s the Couch to 5K program, that I personally used a decade ago to ease myself from couch potato to running my first 5K race. If I could do it, anyone could.

Then there are free resources like reddit that have limitless information on workouts. The Fitness subreddit has done all the research for you, populating workout tips and detailed workout routines for anyone to use in their wiki.

There are several routines that require no equipment. And you can join in on the subreddit to become part of the community, making it easier for those seeking comraderie and encouragement in their fitness goals. All for free.

It’s baby steps… And baby steps can start now!

I’ve never met anyone that can’t stand to be a bit smarter with their money. And on the flip side, anyone can get smarter with their money. But remember, it doesn’t happen all at once.

Begin by fighting your impulses. Prepare for the week and be smart at the store. And cut monthly expenses like gym memberships that are overpriced and you probably aren’t getting your money’s worth out of anyway.

The devil is in the details. And the details can change your lifestyle and prep you for a financially independent future.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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