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Loyola University Chicago

Quinlan School of Business

Salary Information & Negotiations

The Basics

Increase Your Perceived Worth

Do Your Homework

Know What's Important to You

Figure Out Your "Floor"

Negotiate Like You Are on the Same Side of the Table

Drill Down on Health, Relocation and Other Benefits

Understand What the Company May or May Not Have Degrees of Freedom About

Be Gracious, But Firm

Consider More Than Just the Salary

Salary shouldn't be the only consideration when evaluating a job offer. Other factors that may be important include:

Create a decision matrix to get a clear picture of how competing offers compare. List the factors that matter most to you and then assign each a relative weight out of a total of 100.

Sample Decision Matrix
Factor Weight(Relative to 100%) Job A Rating Job B Rating
Growth opportunities 25 6 (=150) 9 (=225)
Great colleagues 15 7 (=105) 8 (=120)
Challenging work 15 5 (=75) 10 (=150)
Travel opportunities 10 3 (=30) 7 (=70)
Compensation 10 9 (=90) 5 (=50)
Reasonable hours 9 7 (=63) 3 (=27)
Rapport with supervisor 9 9 (=81) 5 (=45)
Recognition 5 8 (=40) 4 (=20)
Medical benefits 2 2 (=4) 0 (=0)
TOTAL 100 638 707

This exercise will help you to stay focused on the factors that are most important to you, identify your main negotiating points and recognize when you should probably look elsewhere.

When and How to Discuss the Touchy Subject

Don't talk about salary too soon

If asked about salary right away, change the subject

Do your research and prepare to negotiate

10 Salary Negotiation Mistakes to Avoid

  1. Fail to deal intelligently with salary questions and issues by not doing research on salary comparables and employers.
  2. Specify a single salary figure when asked "What are your salary requirements?"
  3. Assume your "qualifications" and "performance" will automatically determine your salary level.
  4. Believe you are indispensable to an employer who will give you substantial raises rather than risk losing you to the competition.
  5. Think the employer is in the driver's seat when it comes to negotiating salary.
  6. Approach salary negotiations from a perspective of need or greed rather than as a process of assigning value to your qualifications and promises of performance.
  7. Fail to compile supports for a negotiating position.
  8. Forget to calculate benefits as part of the compensation package.
  9. Quickly to accept employers' first or second offers.
  10. Try to play "hard to get" when you have little or nothing to leverage.