It’s a paradox of the job search: Your No. 1 reason to work is probably to earn a living. But when you’re on the job search, compensation is the last item you and your potential employer will settle, after you’ve already demonstrated your value.
If you’ve gotten to this far, proceed with confidence and clarity. Yes, tight financial times mean there are more contenders for every position; nevertheless, it also means that a job offer represents that you’ve made yourself more desirable than all those other candidates.
Caution: Entering negotiations with unrealistic expectations and no tactics for negotiation can still undo the deal. But if you stay focused on your value and understand competitive salaries in your industry and function, you may be able to earn more than you expect to receive or the company planned to pay.
Read Ladders’ Career Advice for tips on sealing the deal.