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4 Tips for Negotiating Salary

February 18, 2015

It's a New Year, full of new possibilities. Maybe 2015 will be the year that you find the job that maximizes your potential. In seeking a new job, it is important to make sure the job fits your skill set, allows room for professional growth and has the right corporate culture for you.

Of course, a job must meet your salary requirements as well. Negotiating a salary is one of the trickiest parts of the job hunt. One the one hand, you want to be upfront about what you need as well as what you think you are worth. On the other hand, you don't want to ask for too much money, lest you lose out on the job opportunity. Here are 4 tips for navigating this precarious professional situation:

1. Establish your worth. Do your research ahead of time on what your industry and market pays your prospective job. Of course, there are a number of factors to consider, including your skills, certifications, education and years of experience. There are plenty of sites like salary.com that can give you an idea of what you might be worth in a given industry and geographic market.

2. Come up with a bottom line. Assess your financial needs, and decide if there are negotiation points such as a flexible schedule, vacation days, 401(k) match, bonuses, etc.

3. Be prepared to answer the salary question in the interview. Of course, there are a number of ways to approach this question. We recommend beginning with a number 10% higher than your target salary—this leaves you some room to negotiate should your potential employer come back with a counter offer. Just make sure the bottom end of your range is an acceptable amount for you.

4. Be ready to justify your salary requirements. In other words, you have to keep selling yourself to a potential employer even after you get the job offer. Maybe you have advanced degrees or special technical training. Most companies are willing to go a little higher if you are the best candidate.

The bottom line is to take a pragmatic approach to salary negotiations. Don't sell yourself short, and don't be afraid to ask for more money if you believe you are worth more and have the reasons to back it up. Just make sure you are realistic and keep an open mind.

At Pacific Office Automation, our award-winning sales and service team is always looking for motivated, bright and solutions-oriented people to join our fast-growing company. For more information about career opportunities at POA, contact us today.

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