Managing Salary Negotiations
Whether you are trying to get an increment in your present job or looking for a new job, at some point of time in your career, you be required to negotiation your salary. It seems like a tough task if you have never done it before. Actually, it's not as difficult as it seems, in fact it's quite similar to any business related negotiation. The success in these negotiations depends on how much leverage you have to negotiate your salary and other terms and conditions of employment.

While negotiating for an increase in your present job, you will have to refer to your present pay package, allowances, benefits, perks, and working conditions and build up on to what your expectations are. Your performance and the current cost of living may be a few of the valid reasons for seeking a pay raise.

If you looking for a job change, you have to share your current salary information with the prospective employer. You will also be informed of the financial terms of the job offer. Posted ads also give a fair idea of the salary package of the position advertised. To get the best deal, which is mutually acceptable, to both parties, you can follow some tips given below;-

Be Prepared:
Be mentally prepared before the negotiation of the terms of employment. Before you get engaged in a face-to-face salary negotiation with your employer, gather all the relevant information possible about the company that you are approaching and the kind of role you are expected to fill. The financial strength of the company and its future growth projections are vital information also. How do the employees and market place in general perceive the company? It is important to be conversant with the pay scale of similar companies for similar positions. The more information you have, the better equipped you will be to negotiate the best deal for yourself.

Approaching the Employer:

This is one of the most challenging aspects of negotiating your salary. Do not feel intimidated during the course of the interview. Be honest and upfront when giving your position. Describe your last job, give details of your accomplishments in that company and the reason you want to leave. If money is the only reason then, be straight forward about it. Elaborate all the reasons you feel that you are right for the job and give an outline of how you can add value to the company. However, if you feel that you deserve a salary hike in your present job, you should make sure that you have sufficient reasons lined up such as, number of years in the company, tasks completed, quality of your work, how have you added value to the company. When you find an opportune time, approach your boss for a meeting. Be open and up front as to why you feel that you deserve a pay raise, give all the valid reasons that you have come prepared with. He will certainly have some questions, answer them calmly and clearly.

How Much to Ask For:

The amount you ask for depends on your area of operation and the position you are looking at in the new company. This also means that some market research is required to find out how much salary individuals get with your level of education and experience. The city where you want to be based can also make a difference, for instance, a person living in Mumbai would expect to earn much more than a professional is a small city like Kanpur. Find out, through others in the industry, what is a just expectation within the parameters of your specific circumstances. Conduct your research thoroughly to make sure you are not expecting too much or too little.

When trying to get a raise within the company that you are working in, get a fair idea of the emoluments someone of your experience and skill is earning in the market. If your job skills are in a niche area and there is a big demand for your skill sets then you can certainly negotiate for an amount even over and above the market rate. Your company will realize that there is a good demand for your skills in the market and may not like to loose you, so there is a good chance that they will agree to your request.

Never Lie-Use Truth to Your Advantage:
Remember that “Honesty is the best policy” especially during salary negotiations. If it is discovered that some incorrect statement has been given, this will cast aspersion on your character and jeopardize your prospects. If this occurs while you are seeking an increment in your present job, you risk being fired and even if you don't get fired, you will be placed at a tremendous disadvantage because your company will never again trust you and your future in that organization will remain uncertain. Hence, never compromise with your integrity no matter how tough the going gets.

Even if you get confused with the questions pelted at you, and find yourself on the wrong foot, use honesty to your advantage, you can never be condemned for telling the truth. Be well prepared with various awkward questions that can crop up. Rehearse well in advance, as how best you will handle such issues. If you are ever find yourself cornered, do not lie, humbly defend yourself by speaking the truth.

Be Practical:
Be practical when you are asking for a certain financial package. It should be within the norms of the industry. If you feel it is justified and really important to you, you may insist that certain perks, which are missing in the package offered to you, be included. However, this should sound like a request and not a demand. The negotiations should remain cordial and polite at all times; else there is the risk of them collapsing.

Know When to Quit Bargaining:
In every negotiation, you finally arrive at a point when you have met most of your expectations. There would have been times you had to concede, at other times the employer acquiesced. This is the time to gracefully stop further negotiations and show your appreciation and accept the job in a dignified manner. If you don't know when to stop bargaining, the employer may feel that offering you the job is a huge mistake in the first place. You may be perceived as greedy, and not the kind of person who will fit in their company.

Other Things You Should Know:
If you don't get everything that you desired, you don't have to give up hope. There may be various factors like medical allowances, paid vacations, incentives, and bonuses that will help you adjust to create a financial equivalent. But, if you are totally dissatisfied with what you are being offered and feel that there is scope to negotiate further and then start looking for another job. If you are lucky, you may succeed elsewhere.

Conclusion:
Don't be intimidated at the thought of salary negotiations. They may seem like a tough task, but if handled correctly, it can be a very pleasant experience. It’s all about how well you can sell yourself. Be well prepared with information on the company that you are approaching. Be honest and straight forward in your approach. Let the process be a pleasant encounter for both parties. Negotiate up to a point. You cannot have everything you want so know when to stop .Either accept what you are offered or give up and walk out in a dignified manner, after observing the correct courtesies. Leave in such a manner that you will be in a position to approach them again in the future. Remember, a good negotiations is one where both parties come out feeling they have won!

Summary:
Salary negotiation is like any business dealing. Both parties have to come well prepared. The candidate should be able to sell himself so well that the employer feels that is the only candidate who can fit the role he has in mind. Now the candidate is in the driver’s seat, and can negotiate a package to his total satisfaction. If you manage to get paid more than you deserve, you may have oversold yourself and your employer's expectations may be way too high as a result of which you may be in for some tough innings! The bottom line is that, in a win-win situation both employer and employee leave the negotiation table all set to commence a fruitful and long term relationship.