Are you prepared to negotiate a job offer? New LinkedIn research shows 42 percent of professionals in the United States are uncomfortable negotiating; approximately 25 percent admit to never having negotiated in the workplace. The study also shows that many of LinkedIn’s U.S. members (39 percent) report feeling anxious about negotiation, more so than participants from other countries do.
What’s wrong with neglecting to negotiate? Employees who begin jobs with less-than-optimum salaries may never catch up to the compensation and benefits they could have earned if they’d played their cards better when starting. Since pay raises and bonuses build from the base salary, it’s crucial to be prepared to ask for the best compensation package possible from the start. Don’t be intimidated. Selena Rezvani, author of the book PUSHBACK: How Smart Women Askâ€”And Stand Upâ€”For What They Want, reminds job seekers: “Too often, people approach negotiation inflating the other side’s power and minimizing their own. Instead, set your sights high and be ready to stand behind your request. You can shoot for being firm but respectful, rather than downright deferential.”
To succeed, job seekers need to take the lead. Here are some tips for getting started:
1. Know what you can live with.
2. Know about the company.
3. Research your market value.
4. Be creative.
5. Create a written proposal.
6. Don’t give in.
7. Things to remember to hunt successfully in a stubborn job market:
- Never burn bridgesâ€”communicate in an open and thoughtful manner.
- If you aren’t prepared to walk away, don’t offer ultimatums.
- Look for the common pointsâ€”use them to negotiate.
Career coaches have always suggested that networking helps land jobs. LinkedIn’s research suggests a strong focus on networking may make a difference in the last stages of sealing the deal: Approximately 48 percent of professionals who visit LinkedIn daily report feeling confident about negotiating. Grow and maintain a strong network and rely on it in every stage of your job search.
Read the complete post in my U.S. News & World Report column.