Negotiating a higher salary: your best strategy when it’s just not what you want

Question:

I’ve been job-hunting for three weeks and have two job offers. The company I least want to work for is offering a starting salary that’s $5,000 more annually than the other. The second company offers to raise my salary in three months if I do well. How do I talk the second company into giving me the higher salary now?

Answer:

Tell the second company that you’d rather work for them, but that you have another offer on the table. Be specific about the exact amount offered so they’ll know what they need to counter.

If the second company won’t raise their offer, ask what level of raise you might expect in three months, provided you perform well. If it’s close to $5,000 annually, you may still want to work for the second company. Not only might they offer a great psychological paycheck, but if they’re the right employer for you, you may find your salary steadily increasing.

In contrast, if you choose the company that offers an initially higher salary, you may find yourself less job satisfied, and thus looking for greener pastures in six to 12 months. If you do accept the raise-in-three-months offer, ask the hiring manager to put the promise in writing.

©Dr. Lynne Curry is author of ”Beating the Workplace Bully” and ”Solutions” as well as owner of the management/HR consulting/training firm The Growth Company Inc. Follow her on Twitter @lynnecury10 or at http://www.bullywhisperer.com.

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