Are you applying for a job and heading into salary negotiations? Are you already at a job that you feel you deserve a raise for? Joseph F LoPresti advises us on some important things to keep in mind when heading into salary negotiations:

Understand the context

Look at your own situation says Joseph F LoPresti.   And look at the company’s situation. Do not go into any negotiation uneducated. Support your claim in a persuasive way, that is backed by data. Has the company filed for bankruptcy recently? If so, they might not be able to shell out as much. Has the company been acquired by a large company recently? If that is the case, then you probably do not need to be as modest.

Do not aim too high, but don’t undersell yourself either

According to Joseph F LoPresti, you have to find a balance. Research your position, and find out what the average salary is for the position you have/are applying for. Use this as a tool to position yourself competitively, but also, reasonably. Be ready to face questions that might come up from HR representatives when having these conversations.

Be firm

You should be confident in your delivery and able to justify your claim in stride. You should know why you deserve that given salary, not only based on domestic averages, but also based on the breadth and depth of your experience and the skills you bring to the company. This does not mean being accusatory or quick to anger; like I said previously, negotiation is all about striking a balance. You should be firm says Joseph F LoPresti, but you should not be brazen.

Make it about the company, not about yourself

Do not talk about the debt you’re in. Do not talk about the luxuries you want to continue affording for yourself. Do not make your salary about your needs. Make it about the company’s needs, and frame your negotiation around the fact that they need you, and thus, need to pay you a certain amount to attain those skills.

Don’t accept the first offer

The first offer is often at the lower end of the salary scale advises Joseph F LoPresti. Companies are out to save as much money as they can, and this does not exclude saving money through salary negotiations. Do not accept the first offer – use the first offer as a jumping-off point to achieve the number you believe is reasonable.

Know when to say no

If the company is being unreasonable, you have every right to say “no.” Just be conscious of the fact that being inflexible might result in losing that job offer. If you know your worth, and you are being taken advantage of, perhaps it would be a good time to find a new placement. However, if you really need this job and are worried about your prospects elsewhere, you should err on the side of flexibility; be hesitant about saying “no.” Rather than saying “no,” frame your response strategically. Suggest you need more, but do not outright say “no” if the potential consequences will not work in your favor.