IT PAYS TO EDUCATE YOURSELF ON NEGOTIATION.

GO INTO ANY NEGOTIATION WITH CONFIDENCE

Negotiation can often be an uncomfortable subject, especially if you’re just beginning your career. But, you can go into it with confidence. Alumni Association career coach Lisa Morgan has some great information about being prepared for “the talk.”

BE PREPARED

Morgan warns against negotiating your salary based on one fact alone. The amount of student loan debt you carry, for example, is not an effective bargaining chip. Neither is only the cost of living. Do your research and see what others make with similar job titles and in similar locations. Reach out to your contacts with experience in the industry and/or in the geographic area you’re planning a move to and ask what they think the salary range could be for the position. Do this research ahead of time so you’re ready to begin the negotiation process, especially if you anticipate an offer coming in.

WHEN YOU’RE READY TO NEGOTIATE

Take this U-M faculty led MOOC on Successful Negotiation Strategies and Skills. Remember, salary is just one thing that can be negotiated. Ask the HR or hiring manager at the organization what else is negotiable, such as signing bonuses, moving expenses, professional development funds, shorter review periods for promotion or raises, and paid time off or vacation. Successful negotiation is win-win for you and your new employer — no one should walk away from a negotiation feeling like they lost a battle.

IT DOES HAPPEN, MAYBE NOT RIGHT AWAY

Don’t walk into a field with little experience and expect to negotiate. Morgan advises, “Often when companies come to campus career fairs, they are hiring many entry-level people. They’re kind of hiring you as unmolded clay. Over time, as people develop different skills and expertise, the salaries start to spread out.” So, if you’re a young professional, get that experience and develop your skills in preparation for your next move.

Would you like to work with a career coach who specializes in your area of expertise? If so, the Alumni Association partners with independent career coaches in major metropolitan areas across the country to serve our members at a special discounted rate.