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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

TV/Radio personality who educates his audience on entrepreneurship, productivity, and leadership.

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Last Updated on March 4, 2019

How to Use Credit Cards While Staying Out of Debt

How to Use Credit Cards While Staying Out of Debt

Many people will suggest that the best thing to do with your credit cards during these tough economic times is to cut them up with a pair of scissors. Indeed, if you are already in huge debt, you probably should stop using them and begin a payback strategy immediately. However, if you are not currently in trouble with your credit cards, there are wise ways to use them.

I happen to really love my credit cards so I will share with you my approach to how I use mine without getting into deep financial trouble.

Ever since about 1983 when I got my first Visa card, I continue to charge as many of my purchases as possible on credit. Everything from gas, groceries and monthly payments for services like my cable and home security monitoring are charged on credit. Despite my heavy usage, I have maintained the joy of never paying any interest fees at all on any of my credit cards.

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Here are some tips on how best to use your credit cards without falling into the trap of paying those nasty double-digit interest fees.

Do Not Treat Credit Cards as Your Funding Sources

Too many people treat their credit cards as funding sources for major purchases. Do not do this if you want to stay out of trouble. I use my credit cards as convenient financial instruments so I do not have to carry around much cash. In fact, I hate carrying cash, especially coins. When you buy things on credit, the purchases are clean and you will not get annoying coins back as change.

I do not rely on my Visa, MasterCard or American Express to fund any of my purchases, large or small. This brings me to my golden rule when it comes to whether I will pull out any of my credit cards either at a retail or online store.

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I never purchase anything with my credit cards if I do not have the actual cash on hand in my bank account.

If I really cannot pay for the item or service with cash that I already have at the bank, then I simply will not make the purchase. Remember, my credit cards are not used as funding sources. They are just convenient alternatives to actual cash in my pocket.

Make Sure to Always Pay Off Balances in Full Each Month

The next very important part of my overall strategy is to make absolutely sure that I pay the balances in full each and every month no matter how large they are. This should never be a problem if the cash has been budgeted for my purchases and secured in the bank. I have always paid my full balances each month ever since my very first credit card and this is why I never pay interest charges.

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Using Credit Cards with Rewards

Most of my credit cards are of the “no annual fees” type, including one MasterCard on a separate account I keep at home as a spare in case I lose my wallet or incur any fraudulent charges. However, I do use a main Visa card which does have an annual fee because all purchases on that card reward me with airline frequent flyer points. For me, the annual fee is worth it since I do travel and I get enough points to redeem many free flights.

You have to decide for yourself if you will charge enough purchases on credit each year without paying interest charges to warrant a credit card that rewards you with airline points (or other rewards). In my case, the answer is “yes” but that might not be the case for you.

I occasionally use a MasterCard or American Express card on small purchases just to keep those accounts active. Also, I have been to the odd retailer that accepted only a certain type of credit card, so I find that having one from each major company is quite handy. Aside from my main Visa card which earns the airline points, the rest of my cards are of the “no annual fees” variety.

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So this is how I use my credit cards without getting into any financial trouble with them. This strategy is recommended only if you are not in debt, of course. In fact, it is worth keeping in mind once you’re out of debt so that you can keep your credit cards active and treat them responsibly.

What are your credit card usage strategies? Let me know in the comments — I’d love to hear what methods you use.

Featured photo credit: Artem Bali via unsplash.com

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