Please help me with my first salary negotiation.
July 16, 2012 7:27 PM Subscribe
I am preparing to negotiate my salary for the first time. What strategy should I take?
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (13 answers total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
A little background:
I am a young-ish (24) female. I have been working at my present job, a small consulting firm in some capacity for about 2 years. I was an intern and then a part-time consultant while I finished grad school. I have been a full-time employee for close to a year now. I was informed that I would be getting a promotion at the end of this year. I have never negotiated a salary before. In the past I have just taken what I was offered. I don't know if this is of any importance but I did find it a little odd, so perhaps it is worth mentioning. When I went from part-time hourly employee to full-time with salary and benefits, I had to ask for an offer letter after the fact. They had just changed my pay and did not officially let me know without my asking. In other words, even if I had intended to negotiate my pay I wasn't presented the opportunity. Another thing that is important to note: in the past, all discussions relating to my pay have been directly with my boss. This is a small company (60 to 70 employees) and the HR function is one person in another office. So I would be having this negotiating discussion with my boss, not with HR.
I understand the first step to negotiating would be to research and figure out what I am worth. I have an idea of what I might be worth, but I work in a bit of a niche industry so I haven't been very successful just using Google to find average salaries. I also have a certification (CPA) that would make me more valuable. My first question is related to this: what are some places you would recommend to find accurate and reliable salary information?
The second part of my question is about the negotiating itself – what would be the best strategy to take? I don't think they will be expecting me to come back with another offer as I never have in the past. I want to do this right or I may not be taken seriously. At this point, I am thinking I either ask for more than I want and hope we end up at the amount I want, or I ask for exactly what I want and explain really well why I am worth that amount. Along with a strategy recommendation, I appreciate any general tips or words of advice.
Here's a throwaway email address (firstname.lastname@example.org) to get in touch with me if you have any further questions.