Millions of college students graduated this month and entered the workforce. Negotiating your new salary or rent for your first apartment out of college may seem like a daunting task. The truth is, negotiations are rarely easy, but inexperience makes the process seem more complicated. Gen Zers (18 – 26 years old) are mostly inexperienced when it comes to negotiation and persuasion.
In fact, many people are afraid to negotiate for a variety of reasons, including lack of preparation, lack of knowledge in the negotiation process, unaware of strategies and tactics that can be employed during negotiation, or when or why to implement these tactics or strategies.
It’s natural to feel overwhelmed, searching and applying for your first full-time and part-time employment opportunities. Whether your interview is in person, over the phone, or via video chat, the first conversation with a potential employer is often nerve-wracking. But the more you prepare, the more confident you’ll feel — and projecting confidence is essential to doing well in a job interview.
Prepare your script ahead of time.
Whether it is negotiating your first job offer or your first rent, rather than focusing on what you’re going to ask for, prepare how you are going to approach the topic. Script out what you’re going to say and then roleplay in the mirror or with a friend. This allows you to get confident, convey confidence, and start strong. It may take practice, but the more you do it, the more empowered you’ll feel. After all, The most important part of a negotiation conversation is your delivery.
You can negotiate more than pay
Remember to put multiple “negotiables” on the table at once so you aren’t just going back and forth on salary, which leads to a fixed-sum negotiation. Remember employers can negotiate areas such as title, health insurance, 401k contributions, expensing commuting costs, increasing paid time off, etc.
Research salary ranges for the position
Now more than ever, it is easy to find the salary ranges for a job position, thanks to salary transparency laws. Pay transparency laws are regulations that require companies to disclose information about employee compensation. As of January, three new states — California, Rhode Island and Washington — have joined the states enacting salary transparency laws, intended to give workers more leverage to negotiate their earnings and close wage gaps. Do your research to learn more about where your state stands in salary transparency laws. With this information, candidates can negotiate their best offers yet! You can use the salary range as leverage during your negotiation conversation.
Communicate your value
Communicate your desire clearly at the start of the meeting and then highlight your accomplishments (i.e. you’ve worked as an intern for a company for several years, you accomplish tasks on time, contributed to the bottom line, etc). Don’t think of this as bragging but instead showcase your confidence. Hiring managers appreciate a candidate who knows what they want and how they plan to continue achieving their goals. They value self-starters and those who can manage their time. It’s important to think in terms of value for your employer moving forward, not just what you have accomplished in the past.
Don’t get distracted by a flashy job title, company, or salaryDo your homework on the company to ensure it aligns with your values. Are you interested in working remotely or in an office? If the position requires you to be in an office 5 days a week, how long will it take you to commute there? Research the company culture as well on review sites such as Glassdoor or Indeed to understand how others feel about working there too.
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By Andres Lares, Managing partner at Shapiro Negotiations Institute and co-author of “Persuade: The 4-Step Process to Influence People and Decisions”
Link to bio: https://www.shapironegotiations.com/who-we-are/andres-lares/
Link to book: https://www.shapironegotiations.com/persuade/
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