College Grads - Negotiate Your Salary the Same Way Executives Do

As a recent college graduate, prior to making any salary negotiation moves, you must consider a few things:

1M Question at Hand: Do you really want the job?

The best way to answer this is to ask yourself whether or not you would like to spend the next few years of your life with the people whom you have met throughout the interview process? What were they like? Were they genuinely nice people or were they a little bit on the arrogant, brash side?

Situation 1:
Let's say the answer to the question is that you can take or leave the current position; it would be no big loss or no big gain. However, you need a job and they want to employ you. Despite the fact that the relationship appears to be mutually beneficial on a 50 / 50 level, in all actuality, you are in the driver's seat.

Also, don't worry about the people who are waiting in line behind you if you don't take the job or ask for too much money. Take my advice that employers never want to hire the 2nd best.

In all actuality, in situation 1, you have nothing to lose and all to gain. I see people negotiate as if they could take or leave the job all the time. With that being said, how do you properly phrase that you want more money without coming out and actually demanding the monetary increase?

Well, in this particular circumstance, there are many different ways to, in a subtle manner, request a raise.

Below, I've listed 2 main phrases that, in a relatively direct, though professional way, tell a potential employer to pay you more:

"I do understand that the initial offer was x, however I was truly hoping to start at y. Is this a possibility?"

"Money is not the one and only, I do very much want to work here, conversely, I was hoping for a starting salary of x. Can this be done?"

What Happens if they decline any requests for higher compensation

"That's fine. I was hoping for more, however I do want to think it over, can you kindly tell me when the offer is valid until?"

With all three phrases, keep it short and sweet. Do not feel as if you have to explain yourself or go over your qualifications. The person sitting on the other side of the table understands them and this is why he or she is presenting you with an offer in the first place.

You don't want to get any harsher than the aforementioned phrases because it is unprofessional and you can get a bad reputation for being argumentative very easily. Even though the business world revolves around negotiation, you're not Donald Trump, you're a kid who just graduated college, and $3,500 annually is not the score of a lifetime. Be polite and respect the people on the other side of the table.

Situation 2:
In this case, you truly want the job, you think that the company is great and don't want to risk the offer for a few thousand dollars in salary negotiation. Rest assure, there is still a way to do wiggle some more compensation with minimal risk, however you don't want to press nearly as hard as you would upon negotiating a salary via situation #1.

Remember, in the long run $5,000 is not going to make or break a career. It is the company and people who are going to help make or break your potential success at this position.

I got caught in that trap right after graduating college (ironically by a recruiter) and, decided on a job for $4,000. It was quite serendipitous as getting pushed out prompted me to open my own business, but putting salary before job potential is never a good thing and the tactic never turns out well.

Below, I've listed 2 main phrases that, in a roundabout and professional way, tell a potential employer that you want more money, but compensation is not a deal-breaker:

"I'm truly excited about this offer as it is the job that I've wanted and worked the hardest towards. By all means, I'm going to accept, flexibility isn't a killer here, though anything you can do on the salary would be really appreciated"

If they say, "no" shake their hand and tell them you can't wait to start and maybe the negotiations can take place again after you've been doing a dynamite job. However, before throwing around the "dynamite job" gig, make sure you show up for work on time.

"I might as well be upfront, this company is exactly what I want and why I worked as hard as I did in college. The compensation is a tad-light. Any flexibility on this front?"

If they say, "no" just as above, don't take it personally, accept the job with a smile and work hard enough to where you get to the point that the company can not do without you. Reach this pinnacle and you rarely will hear the word "no" when discussing compensation.

A Brief Conclusion

Unless you are performing brain surgery out of med-school, you're not supposed to be getting rich off of your first job. You're supposed to be positioning yourself with a progressive, intelligent company which is ambitious, challenges you and will give you room to grow. Think of your first job as an extended internship.

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Published At: College Grads - Negotiate Your Salary the Same Way Executives Do