One Surprising Way Work/Family Balance Affects Salary Negotiation

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one surprising way work/family balance affects salary negotiation
Most of the time you hear about the wage gap between men and women — and how the gap is caused by the struggles women face in balancing work and family responsibilities. But the effects of that struggle are not all bad, because the result of your efforts has given you strength as well.
This applies to both men and women. I don’t want to act like men don’t struggle to keep job and family priorities straight. But since the majority of the wage gap conversation seems to focus on how women have lower wages as a result of motherhood, it’s a good thing to consider the strengths you have when it comes to negotiating your salary.

  • You have a life outside your cubicle. No matter what the result of your negotiation brings, your identity is not solely defined by the title on your paycheck or the amount written on it. This can give you the strength of perspective, allowing you to negotiate without focusing on one issue at the expense of others.
  • You have a lot of experience in negotiation. How many times have you had to work out the details to juggle childcare and career? If your kids are older, how much negotiation have you done over chores and homework? You have the strength of past experience in countless encounters in figuring out compromise.
  • You have a solid goal in mind. You know what the bills are and you know what your income is. If you can’t reconcile the numbers on your current salary, you need to be prepared to look for a different position if this one can’t provide the paycheck your family needs to survive. You have the strength of vision, that goal of providing for your family.

5 Steps To Negotiating Your Salary


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Negotiating salary is a scary proposition for some people. It’s also quite difficult if you are rusty on your negotiation skills. I’ve put together a few tips for helping you get through the process with less sweat and more leverage.
Step 1: Don’t discuss salary until the employer makes an offer
A good rule of thumb is to refrain from mentioning salary expectations in your resume. If the the ad you are responding to requests past salaries as some do, then comply. Otherwise, don’t bring up salary at all. If asked during the interview, try to avoid the question. Respond in a manner such as:

  • “If you decide I’m right for the position, then I’m sure you’ll pay a fair and competitive rate, right?”
  • “I’d love to discuss salary with you, but before we get to that, I’d like to know more about the position. Tell me more about ______.”
  • “Is this a formal offer?”
  • “The going salary range for that level of responsibility is between _______________ and _______________. You pay in that range, correct?”

Step 2: Allow the interview to make the offer
She who speaks first loses. In salary negotiations, the first figure mentioned is the starting point. You don’t want to sell yourself short. Let the interviewer make the offer and you go from there. That way, if the salary they offer is way off base and you don’t see any way to meet in the middle, then you can gracefully bow out.
Step 3: Do the research
Don’t negotiate in the blind. After your potential employer makes an offer, do a little research to determine the going salary range for your level of skill and experience. Check a variety of sources for the sake of comparison or you could end up getting less than you deserve.
One useful source of information is the U.S. Department of Labor (Bureau of Labor Statistics). They publish annual salary data by occupation.
You can also perform a Google search to find other salary information online. Be aware that salaries can vary according to location and whether or not will be employed in the public or private sector or in a profit or non-profit organization.

Step 4:
Let negotiations begin
You want to get the highest salary possible. Your employer wants to pay the lowest amount to increase their bottom line. You should strive to be fair while maximizing your own value.
Determine your value to your company and make an offer based on that.
Step 5: Close the deal and keep negotiating
Your salary is only one component of the negotiating process. You can also negotiate perks and benefits such leave time, profit sharing, bonuses, etc.

Salary Requirement Question – What To Say

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Salary Requirement
The number one dreaded question during the interview process is “what salary requirements are you expecting.” This question alone can either make or break the interview. Not only that, it tends to make a lot of interviewees freeze up and say the wrong things.
It is very easy to under or oversell yourself. If you are afraid of stating too much, chances are you will undersell yourself and make less than you were anticipating. After all, companies use this question to feel their applicants out. And, of course, if they can get you for a lower wage, they will.
It’s not going to go well if you ask for too much income. For instance, you can’t possibly expect to hire on as customer service but expect to be paid $20 or more an hour. Just won’t happen.
Interview process protocol dictates that you should never bring the subject of salary up yourself. Wait until they do. You only address it when the potential employer brings it up.
A good answer is that you are negotiable. That way, the both of you can meet in the middle somewhere with their requirements. At this point, you need to make sure what salary you can budget for with your personal expenses.
A good idea is to do research for the type of position you are applying for and see what the going rate for certain positions are. You don’t want to be out of the ballpark by asking for too much income when the trend is lower for the same position.
It’s all about negotiation. You may not get exactly what you want as far as wage goes, but you may also be offered a different position that offers more after they evaluate your skills. So, remember, don’t blow it by over or underselling yourself.

How To Negotiate The Salary You Want During A Job Interview


Salary Negotiations
You have accepted a job offer knowing that the salary is not as much as you were hoping or needing. But you need the job, thinking that you will get raises. What if you don’t? And to top it off, the next person they hire for the same type of work just a few weeks later is making quite a bit more. What happened?

  • You need to negotiate in the beginning to get the salary you want, or else you just may be stuck, just like you are. It’s not as hard once you get the hang of it. If the company just will not negotiate, you still have a shot and at least know you tried.
  • One important thing to remember is that the company is going to try to go with a wage or salary as low as possible. You want more and they want less. This is the basis of negotiation. Be confident in what you bring to the table and how your expertise will help the company. That will be your focus in negotiations.
  • Remember that it is give and take. It’s almost like bartering for an item (garage sales, eBay!). You eventually meet in the middle. So, recognize that you may have to agree to something that is still less than you want but more than was originally offered. This will be a positive bargain for you.
  • Make sure you are flexible. If the company thinks you are being too constrictive, they will back out. Be sure to watch the body language and you will be able to tell if they are listening to you or are backing up.

The first couple of times may be nerve wracking but once you get used to the process, you will be able to negotiate like the pros. You never know, you just might get what you want.