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Negotiating Your Compensation Package

Negotiating is a four-letter word.
Most women are uncomfortable asking for what they want because:

  • Neither their parents nor their teachers taught them how to do it.

  • They feel greedy or ungrateful not taking what's been suggested.

  • Conflict is unladylike.

  • They're afraid their potential employer might get angry, create a scene or even withdraw the offer.

But sometimes you just have to do it.
If you don't go after what you want now:
  • Your employer's stinginess may become a constant source of resentment.

  • Your performance may suffer because you feel exploited.

  • Your future compensation may fall increasingly below the norm because most raises and bonuses are a percent of current salary.

  • Your may continue to be underpaid, even when you change jobs/employers.

If you are unhappy with the package you've been offered, you're entitled to ask for more.
Keep in mind, you are the number one candidate. The company has chosen you versus all your competition. You are the only person they want for the position. At this moment, you have a lot of leverage. If you don't negotiate now, your next opportunity will be a year or more down the road.

Start by determining 100% of what you want.
Put together a comprehensive package of income, benefits and perks we'll call Plan A. (See the Compensation Calculator for help with this process.) Make it a very reasonable, well documented request or add an extra 10-20%, if you're gutsy. Whatever your approach, be prepared to justify the numbers.

Talk to your potential boss, using the Sandwich Approach: good news, bad news, good news, to state your case.
Tell her you are very interested in her offer and give specific reasons why you want the position. Then mention that, based upon your research on what the job is worth, you think (the components of your Plan A) would be more appropriate. If she agrees, you will be delighted to come on board.

She may accede to your Plan A or make a counteroffer.
This will typically be somewhere between her original package and your plan A. If you are happy with her new proposal, take it with enthusiasm.

If you want more, go to Plan B.
This proposal should fall between her second offer and Plan A. If possible, hold firm on the items most critical to you and reduce those of lesser importance. For instance, you may choose to continue asking for Plan A's base salary, but cut the amount of your signing or performance bonus.

She may agree to Plan B or counter again.
You have the option of accepting her offer or countering with Plan C, which will probably require a decrease in some of your most critical elements.

Whatever you do, don't offer or agree to anything you honestly don't want. It's better to walk away than start a position with a chip on your shoulder.


 Career Dimensions ● 214-208-1706 ● tauneeb@careerdimensions-dfw.com

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