Since the official end of the Great Recession, the news has been inundated with reports about what matters most now to job seekers. How has the recession affected our values in the positions we seek, and the positions we have? How many experienced workers gave up the large paycheck or flexibility in exchange for job security?

No matter where you are in this job search, you know the salary you must make in order to make a job worth your while. Today’s employee wants to thrive off their salary, not just cover expenses and “make ends meet.” Before you go into the interview process, it is a great time to review how you negotiate a higher salary.

Start at a high amount, and negotiate down. Showing your enthusiasm for the position, begin the discussion with an “optimal amount” above what you need to make, but that is fair for the position you are considering. You and the employer can work from there to find a middle ground that is comfortable for both parties.

Demonstrate your value to the company’s bottom line. Be confident in your skills and experience level. Provide examples of how you could use your skills to increase company sales, improve customer service, and accomplish the organization’s missions directly. If you are asking for $5,000 more in salary, justify that amount in savings you can provide the company, or projects you can complete that will bring in even more revenue.

Look beyond base pay for other ways to increase your pay. If an employer will not budge from their first offer, as many employers will do in a recovering (but not yet fully recovered) economy, you can inquire about additional vacation days, an early salary review, and the possibility of bonuses based on job performance.

As you apply for each position, you can put together a game plan for how you will negotiate your ideal salary. 




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