Negotiation is just a conversation. People, whether they be vendors or employers, EXPECT you to try to negotiate.
Possible First Steps
1) Don’t answer right away. Use a subtle indication that you’re looking for something more by responding with silence, or just say, “Hm, I need a moment to consider this…”
2) Another option is to simply say, “Is there any flexibility here?”
3) Be ready to name alternatives and highlight your strengths for leverage. You’re not “just” a recent grad. You have experience gained from classes and whatever work you did paid, or volunteer. You also offer more flexibility and eagerness than some more experienced workers and it is assumed you are very technically savvy and a good multi-tasker.
4) Assume there is an available option. Instead of asking “Do you offer a student discount?” ask “What IS the student discount?” Or in a job situation, “What are the options for telecommuting?” vs. “Do you let employees telecommute”?
1. Always Always Negotiate Salary.
You stand to lose thousands in immediate and future earnings if you don't attempt negotiation. The strongest point of negotiation is at the point of hire. All future income is based on this initial salary.
2. Know when to walk away.
Keep your “range” in your head (but make them give the first offer). Know the lowest you can accept and what your “deal-breakers” are.
3. You can ask about much more than just salary!
• vacation time
• relocation expenses
• flexible schedule
• bring your pet to work
• student loan repayment
• Other “perks” unique to the industry
Google is your friend! Research the industry and what to expect from a salary. Know the following:
- What’s the typical salary for a job in this industry as a new hire for a person of your background/experience?
- What are the living expenses associated with the geographic area?
Some resources to use:
- Williams Alumni Network
Do Your Research!
Men are 4-8x more likely to negotiate their salaries. This happens for a few
- Men are more likely to apply for positions for which they’re not fully qualified
- Women are more likely to think that they’ll be seen as ‘mean’ if they ask for more money
- Women are more likely to negotiate if explicitly told something is negotiable.
A Note for the Ladies
You owe it to yourselves to negotiate! It never hurts to ask!
Are you afraid that the company will take the offer away altogether? If a company does that, it’s not a company you want to work with. If they give you consideration, they want you. Simply asking about salary isn’t going to throw the job away.
Asking shows that you respect yourself, know your worth, and have done your homework. You’re not going to lose out on the job— you’ve just initiated the conversation. Nobody is going to think that you’re a ‘problem’ for asking. More likely than not, they’ll respect you for it.