How to Negotiate Your Salary

Author: Bette Miles-Holleman

It’s an all too familiar situation: a prospective employee is in the final stages of the interview process, when the big question of salary expectations comes up. Stated too high, one runs the risk of pricing themselves out of the market. Too low a bid and one sells themselves short. So what’s the solution?

Before you get to this point, make sure you have researched the average salary range for the position you want. While many companies have a set pay scale within their firm, they should be offering competitive wages based on the type of job, and the city and state where the company is located. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has databases available to search for salary ranges in 800 occupations and 400 industries throughout the United States.

Salary information is good to have. It allows you to confidently state your salary requirements, to weed out any offers that pay less than the industry standard, and gives you a solid basis to make a counteroffer. It may also give you information about a new field of work, or a position a few steps up from your current field that pays more.

You may also wish to search salary ranges based on gender and other demographics for the same job. Women are paid about 20% less on average than men for the same work and experience. Be bold, and ask for the full amount offered for the position. If you find that there is disparity of any kind with regard to salaries, you may wish to reconsider employment with that company.

Knowledge is power, and anything that increases your bargaining position will work to your advantage. This information should make those final interviews move along smoothly, and reduce your stress.

 

Bette Miles-Holleman is a retail merchandiser, customer service analyst, model and stylist with over 25 years experience in the fashion industry.

She is also a wife, home school mom of 5, and a Squidoo evangelist.

In her spare time, Bette writes, knits, teaches, cooks, sings, lives and loves on the West Coast of the USA.

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