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The Ten Commandments of Salary Negotiation (Part 2): Salary expert Jack Chapman offers 10 lessons on salary negotiation in the vein of the Ten Commandments.
Oops, I already told the interviewer how much I make. Now what?
All is not lost! Just because she knows your current salary or salary expectations doesn’t mean you can’t negotiate for a fair market value.
Once you’ve broken the sound barrier, so to speak, on your salary, you at least have one advantage: no more tug of war between you and your potential employer about revealing salary.
If salary bumped you out of interviewing, it will be hard to gain re-entry at all, and even if you do, it might be at the price of an informal pre-interview agreement that if chosen, you’ll consider a pay cut.
If you’re still in the running, however, your “disclosed” circumstances make it doubly important to do your research well. In this case, you don’t need to address salary again until there’s an offer. At that point use researched facts about the fair market value for someone with your skill set in a similar job in the region, not your past salary, to substantiate your salary request.
When they’ve decided to hire you, it’s time to make the move away from the number you disclosed to your ideal compensation. Don’t let your past salary be the starting point for negotiations. Let your own satisfaction and joy of receiving great pay be the motivating force behind you at this point.
Remember that what you negotiate now is what you’ll live with for a long time. A minute or two here can engender months and months of satisfaction — or the opposite if you miss this opportunity. Let’s assume they’ve made an offer. What do you say?
Respond with, “I know I’ve discussed my [current] salary/salary expectations. I want to make sure from this point forward that we’re looking for a compensation package that is not just a ‘raise’ from my previous job, but rather a motivating, fair, value-based salary we will both be satisfied with. Can we agree on that principle?”
Once you have your agreement on that, you can return to standard salary negotiation.
Read other installments in this series:
Part 1: Salary Negotiation Tips: Thou Shalt Not Speak Too Soon
Part 2: Salary Negotiation Tips: Thou Shalt Not Regret Salary Disclosure
Part 3: Salary Negotiation Tips: Let the Employer Make the First Salary Offer
Part 4: Salary Negotiation Tips: Thou Shalt Not Agree
Part 5: Salary Negotiation Tips: Know How Much Money You’re Worth
Part 6: Salary Negotiation Tips: Thou Shalt Covet Thine Own Benefits and Perks
Part 7: Salary Negotiation Tips: This Is the Job Thou Coveteth
Part 8: Salary Negotiation Tips: Thou Shalt Not Worry about Earthly Economy
Part 9: Salary Negotiation Tips: Thou Shalt Not Take the Name of Thy Salary in Vain
Part 10: Salary Negotiation Tips: Honor Thy Wealth and Prosperity