Most people dread negotiating their salaries. It can be nerve-wracking, but it doesn’t have to be. Preparation and understanding can provide you with the confidence you need to stop dreading and start negotiating your way to a better compensation package.

Know What You Are Worth

What is the first thing you do when you decide to sell your car? You probably go online and search for comparable vehicles to determine the value of yours. A salary negotiation is not different. You are selling your experience and expertise and you must know your market value. Use online tools and information from colleagues to determine your worth. After you have completed your research, develop a salary range rather than a hard number. This will give you flexibility in your negotiations.

Practice, Practice, Practice

OK, so you aren’t playing Carnegie Hall, but the path to a successful negotiation is practice, practice, practice. You can do this alone in front of a mirror, or you can recruit a friend, colleague, or family member to help. The important thing is that you get in your practice before the big show.

Stand Your Ground – But Not Too Firmly

Generally speaking, you should not accept the first offer that is thrown out. Usually the hiring manager will have some room to expand the offer. That being said, you also don’t want to take a hardline approach to negotiations. Good negotiations lead to a deal that both sides are happy with. Be firm, but also be flexible. The hiring manager isn’t your enemy, she’s a colleague who wants a fair deal as much as you do.

Don’t Forget Benefits and Perks

Your professional compensation is much more than simply your salary. Health insurance, gym memberships, stock options, 401(k), etc. are all very valuable considerations in your overall compensation. Also look for other less obvious benefits such as flexible time or telecommuting. Are you relocating for this position? If so, negotiate a relocation allowance. All of these benefits affect your personal bottom line, so be sure to include them in your negotiations.

Danielle Foppe is a Recruitment Manager at Business Centric Technology. If you are interested in learning more about how to get the best IT talent in the Dallas metroplex, contact Danielle specializes in recruiting IT talent in Dallas, Ft. Worth and North Texas. If you are looking for a rewarding career contact us today.