After a previous client had such success with her resume that I wrote for her, she came back to me with a new dilemma that she was quite concerned about: I just received an offer from a company, but I was hoping for a higher salary. What should I do?
Of all the dilemmas she could be facing right now in her job search, this was by far the best dilemma to have—the one that everyone strives for! Sadly, most job seekers don’t even realize they have the leverage to negotiate their way to a better salary. They are so eager to accept the job offer, they don’t even take the time to consider if the salary offered compares with industry standards or is competitive in relationship to other similar companies seeking their skills. There are tons of websites and online resources that job seekers can use in their salary negotiations like Salary.com or Glassdoor.com. These valuable resources can help job seekers determine if the salary offered from a company is fair and competitive.
Most times, job seekers wonder if they even have the ability to command a higher salary based on the volume of applicants for each job. It is never a good strategy to let fear dictate your strategy when it comes to your livelihood. Most times, if a job is unionized or the company is a smaller entity, the room for salary negotiation is a bit slimmer than that of a larger corporation or higher profile entity. Job seekers are expected to compete for job openings, so why shouldn’t companies be expected to compete for its talent through salary negotiations!
Another important thing to remember more than the dollar and cents of a salary is the benefits. Most competitive companies offer a diversity of benefit options like healthcare coverage, retirement/profit-sharing plans, disability benefits, and life insurance benefits. But employee benefits are one of the most forgotten components of salary negotiations simply because job seekers focus solely on the paycheck because that is the tangible item. As the saying goes–cash is king. But job seekers would be wise to remember that in this instance, cash is not always king. Intangible benefits like work/life balance, wellness programs, remote employment, job sharing, unpaid time off, travel/expense allowances, subscription services, and company cars are a good complement to an actual paycheck. A lot of times, this is what makes the difference between elated short-term new hires and satisfied retained talent.
Before you accept a job offer, perform your due diligence on the company’s offerings in terms of tangible benefits as well as intangible benefits. Determine if the salary offered is competitive with industry standards. Once you factor in all of the perks a job has to offer, you might find that the salary is only a fraction of what will make you truly happy at your new company. Remember, you heard it here first—cash is not always king!