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Are you prepared to negotiate a job offer? New LinkedIn research shows 42 percent of professionals in the United States are uncomfortable negotiating; approximately 25 percent admit to never having negotiated in the workplace. The study also shows that many of LinkedIn's U.S. members (39 percent) report feeling anxious about negotiation, more so than participants from other countries do.
What's wrong with neglecting to negotiate? Employees who begin jobs with less-than-optimum salaries may never catch up to the compensation and benefits they could have earned if they'd played their cards better when starting. Since pay raises and bonuses build from the base salary, it's crucial to be prepared to ask for the best compensation package possible from the start. Don't be intimidated. Selena Rezvani, author of the book PUSHBACK: How Smart Women Ask—And Stand Up—For What They Want, reminds job seekers: "Too often, people approach negotiation inflating the other side's power and minimizing their own. Instead, set your sights high and be ready to stand behind your request. You can shoot for being firm but respectful, rather than downright deferential."
To succeed, job seekers need to take the lead. Here are some tips for getting started:
1. Know what you can live with. Keep a list outlining your needs. Ask yourself the following questions, and know the answers:
What's going to make you love your job?
What will make you proud to come to work every day?
What would keep you at a company?
What do you hope to earn? What is the least amount you'd accept?
Draw up a detailed list of what you "want to have" and "need to have."
2. Know about the company. If you have inside information, it can be easier to negotiate. For example, has the position been difficult to fill? If the job has been open for awhile, the employer may be more willing to negotiate with a qualified applicant....