Career Advice for Job Seekers

Recent Grads! Reasons Why You Must Master the Art of Negotiation

William Frierson AvatarWilliam Frierson
June 12, 2015

Young business people negotiating in a meeting room

Young business people negotiating in a meeting room. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Whilst everyone can benefit from a look at their budget; cutting a few costs here and there will not make a fundamental difference to your financial well being. The easiest and fastest way of doing this is to obtain a substantial rise in your salary. If you are fortunate enough to receive a $5,000 rise in your twenties and can afford to invest it, you can turn this small amount into over a million by the time you retire.

Reasons to ask for more

If you have either a proven track record in the work environment or have an excellent college background you will be in demand. In this scenario it is essential to ask for more and maximize your earning potential, future raises will add to this and quickly shoot you past many other employees.

Most companies expect the best employees to negotiate; even if you are a new grad if you negotiate regarding a pay rise then the company will know you are likely to be a top performer. The company has just spent several thousand recruiting you and will not be likely to be keen to lose this investment over a few thousand dollar raise.

When it is appropriate to ask

There are some circumstances in which it is better not to ask for more and to wait until either a situation improves or you have established a good reputation. It is always difficult to negotiate and usually not worth asking when you are entering a business with a set pay structure for each job. The government is an excellent example of this; no matter how good you are your boss will simply not be able to give you a raise.

You should also never negotiate if you are in an employer’s market. This is when there are plenty of people capable and willing to undertake the job. If you ask for a raise they will be very likely to say no as there are many other people who can do the job. It is only appropriate to ask if you can present a good argument as to why you deserve a pay rise.

Important points to note when asking for a rise

If you feel that a rise is deserved then you should bear the following in mind before you enter a negotiation meeting:

  • Salary

It is essential to research what other people are earning in similar roles across your industry. You need to establish what a reasonable salary is for your job and then take the data with you to the meeting.

  • The other side

When planning your argument it is essential to look at it from the company perspective. You need to consider what will make them happy and what they will expect from you in return for this pay rise.

  • Consider the whole package

Your suggestion or offer to them should include the salary you want, the reasons why this is justified and the reasons why their argument should be ignored. You should also bear in mind that there is more to your earnings than just your salary. Healthcare or training included can increase the worth of your package considerably and benefit your future career. Make sure the package you ask for is the complete deal.

Practice makes perfect

As with most things in life the more you practice the better you will get at it. Practice your request with friends and go through the various arguments. Remain professional at all times, becoming angry will guarantee a poor result and will make you appear greedy.

Fall-back position

It is highly likely that your request will be met with a no and a reason why. This is the start of the negotiation and the reason why you have taken the time to prepare properly for the meeting. Having a package in mind will allow you to trade a physical pay rise with other benefits which can help you long term.

Most importantly, before asking for a pay rise, make sure you are working hard and your efforts have been noticed. Learn to master the art of negotiation, and focus on non-financial incentives too. They can have a lot of benefits in the long term.

By Christopher Austin and!

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