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Salaries are negotiable, even in a bad economy



The economy is horrible and you feel lucky to have been offered a job. Why let that stop you from asking for more money? Here are five tips to getting a better salary:

Don't blink first

Most companies do not advertise salaries anymore, because they might change depending on the hire’s background and experience. Do not broach the subject first. Let them dictate the process and discuss the salary when you are offered the job. At that point, you can be assured that the company was impressed with your abilities and want you on their staff. You now have the power to negotiate. Do not let your need for a job lead to a lowball offer. Everything is negotiable.

Only you care about your personal issues

Your future bosses are not your friends. Do not offer stories about how behind you are in paying your bills. While they may feel bad, they are concerned with the company’s bottom line and will only agree to offer more money if there is something in it for them — better quality of work, bigger profit, additional savings, etc. Remember, salary decisions are business decisions — so be business savvy when negotiating.

Plan ahead

Assume you will be offered the job and ask yourself some questions — How much was I making at my last job? How much was my benefits package worth? How much are other people making for the same job? Do the research and calculate an ideal salary and benefits package. You should also determine how low you are willing to go before you decide to look elsewhere. Planning ahead will allow you to enter the salary negotiation phase with confidence.

Money isn't everything

Even the benefits package is negotiable — from health insurance to sick and vacation days. For example, maybe there is an opportunity to negotiate bonuses based on various milestones you are confident you will achieve. There is always a way to work around the salary issue. Be creative. It may actually impress your future boss.

Don't be afraid to make the tough decisions

If the company is not offering you enough money and you are not willing to accept a job for anything less than your desired income, decline the offer in a respectful manner. The company might be mad or they might accommodate you. You need to make decisions that best fit your needs. However, if you are desperate for money and in a tough position, you might want to accept the offer, work hard to prove you deserve more, and after an acceptable amount of time, use your newfound position and experience to find the job that will pay what you deserve.

Vault is the trusted source for professionals and students pursuing and managing high-potential careers and employers seeking to engage them. Read more at


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