Bruzzese: Know just how much you're worth when negotiating
Once you reach the final interview stage for a job, you may be feeling pretty confident.
But that's precisely when many job offers fall through, says Christine Mackey-Ross, senior vice president at Witt/Kieffer executive search firm.
Even chief executives can blow negotiations in the final stage of the interviewing process. She cites a job candidate who nixed his chances by asking for $150,000 more a year than the No. 2 candidate.
Although most people won't be looking for that kind of paycheck, there's a key lesson: Don't ask for so much that the No. 2 becomes the No. 1 prospect.
“Most employers have a backup candidate,” and you can take yourself out of the running quickly with unrealistic demands, she says.
Before you talk about salary or benefits with an employer, Mackey-Ross advises you to do your homework and know what a similar position offers in your geographic area. Salaries may be higher in New York City than in Omaha, and sites like Salary.com and Glassdoor.com can give you a grasp of what is typical for the job and industry.
Salary.com, which offers pay ranges for more than 4,000 job titles, says you should take into account your experience or skills that fit the job, which can help you negotiate for more. If you're willing to relocate or work an undesirable shift, you may be able to get an employer to offer more money.
Become informed about an employer's compensation practices by trying to find out the salary of the last person who held the job you're seeking, Mackey-Ross says. This can be done if you have contacts within the company or through LinkedIn.
Learn what trends affect salaries. A survey from Mercer consultants of more than 1,500 organizations that it says represents more than a tenth of the civilian workforce shows that employers are offering raises of about 2.8 percent this year and 2.9 percent next year. So factor that into what you need in terms of salary.
At the same time, keep in mind that a job may come with benefits such as health insurance, flexible hours and a 401(k) match.
Write Anita Bruzzese in care of USA TODAY/Gannett, 7950 Jones Branch Drive, McLean, Va. 22108.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Former athletes open businesses
- Password change can block hackers from wireless cameras
- Typewriters back in style, keeping repair shops busy
- Hard-hit worker wonders where the economic resurgence is
- Workarounds exist for battery woes
- North Dakota oil boom attracts crime
- News keeps getting better at the pump, as national average nears $2 a gallon
- Energy industry says it’s on top of methane leaks, but environmentalists want oversight
- What is wrong with your job, what can change?
- Beaver County power plant cleaning up spill into creek
- Chevron laying off 162 workers from Moon-based unit