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Negotiating Tips

Job negotiations are like any other business negotiations and should be treated as such. There are some exceptions to this that you need to be aware of and consider.

You do not want to keep pushing the envelope so to speak by asking for more and more especially if the person you are negotiating with may be your future boss. You do not want to damage this key relationship and set the seed of resentment in your bosses mind.

The employer more than likely has the upper hand in negotiations unless you have several job offers or are in a highly specialized field. You may believe the company cannot do without you however the hiring manager may not necessarily think so. Again, ask for what you need however being aggressive will probably not get you what you want.

What Do You Want?
Before you begin any negotiations you must be clear on what you want and what you are willing to accept which will most likely be different. Ask for the world however be realistic as you most likely not get everything you want so be willing to accept less.

Be Realistic
It is very unlikely the company will be unable to get somebody with your background and skill set in the event you do not accept the post. So be realistic in your expectations, as you will only have so much leverage to negotiate any job offer even if your skill set is in short supply.

Knowledge is Power
If you know present or former employees of the company, tap in to them for information. They may know how long the company has been trying to fill the position and how much the company pays people in comparable positions. It is also important that you find out what "market value" is for somebody with your background. You can use this information during negotiations and it will also help your understand what leverage you have.

Don't Lock Yourself In!
Take care not to lock yourself in to a position where you say you will not accept the position unless you get such and such. This leaves not room for the other party to negotiate. Keep the focus on needs such as salary, benefits, role and responsibilities.

Never issue an ultimatum. There is no quicker way of cooling off the other party's interest in you.

Don't Create an Adversarial Environment.
Negotiations are about both parties getting what they want. They are not about one party getting everything and the other party nothing. Be careful to make sure the mood of the negotiations is a win/win and always be flexible.

Be Polite
It should go without saying that being assertive does not mean you do not have to be polite. Many people incorrectly believe that by being aggressive they will get what they want. This may work temporarily but this leaves a bad taste in the other party's mouth, remember you never know who your future boss will be. Close negotiations on a polite graceful manner no matter how tough they were.

Get the Offer in Writing
Always request for a job offer to be put in writing. This should include specifics on title, role and responsibilities, salary and any bonus information. It should also include any other specifics on details worked out during the negotiations.

Employment Contract
Many companies use employment contracts that list out more of the same information that is in the job offer. Also included will be details of severance arrangements. Be sure to read the contract in detail and get legal counsel if needed.

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