Posted August 12, 2013 by

How a 2-Minute Salary Negotiation Can Impact You For Years

Jim Hopkinson

Jim Hopkinson, Salary.com contributing writer

Life in 2013 moves fast. Some would say too fast. Our tweets are only 140 characters, social videos on Vine max out at 6 seconds, and we’d all like to get six-pack abs in just a few minutes. What surprises some job-seekers when they learn about salary negotiation, is that sometimes the entire conversation around your future compensation is wrapped up in just a few short minutes, but can have a lasting impact for years to come.

If you’re not prepared, it can fly by in an instant. If you don’t have the right approach, you leave money on the table.

Here are two crucial reasons why you need to approach this with a 2-year approach, not a 2 minute approach.

1. Deciding to Negotiate

There’s no doubt about it, negotiation is stressful. In fact, it combines many of the most common fears people have:

  • First, it’s a form of public speaking, which is the #1 fear that people report.
  • Next, it’s doing something you’ve most likely never done before. Who isn’t nervous when doing something for the first time?
  • It involves promoting yourself and your accomplishments, something many people aren’t comfortable with.
  • Lastly, it involves the topic of money, a subject that often has deep-rooted feelings in someone’s life.

Geesh, why not just hold the negotiation on the ledge of a tall building while perched on a ladder and have a large black cat walk by so we can combine all of our fears into one?

Preparation is Key

On top of all this, it takes a fair amount of work to adequately prepare for a negotiation. You should:

  • Do your homework to research the salary range for your position
  • Prepare a portfolio of your past work accomplishments to support your case
  • Learn negotiation techniques in order to deflect unwanted questions, build rapport with your counterpart, be comfortable with silence, and group together a total compensation package
  • Role play your negotiation conversation with a friend to make sure your responses are natural and effective

Given all the stress and effort that has to be done for this 2-minute conversation, who wouldn’t want to simply avoid it and accept what is offered?

The Benefits of Negotiation for the Long-Term

However, despite these fears, you must look at the next two years of your career, not the stressful two minutes. Here’s why:

  • More money: By negotiating even a 5% raise at a new job, you stand to make hundreds of thousands of dollars more vs. simply accepting the initial offer. Negotiate well now, and you’ll be making more 2 years, 12 years, and 22 years down the line.
  • Even more money: Of course, it’s not just your first job that you’ll use negotiation. Because you’re starting at a higher initial salary, all future raises will be larger. And when you move on to other companies, your higher base pay will position you to ask for more at your new job.
  • More respect: If done correctly, your future manager won’t look at you as a difficult employee. In fact, they might even respect your business acumen more and prevent you from losing the job.  Continue reading . . .

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Posted in Advice for Candidates, Career Advice, Negotiations, Salaries and Compensation | Tagged Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,