When negotiating a salary, don’t look desperate

sundheim-ken-suit2Negotiating a salary or raise can be one of the most stressful things any of us ever do. Ken Sundheim, CEO of KAS Placement Sales and Marketing Recruiters, says that for best results we ought to base our plan on facts rather than emotion.

He writes on the Personal Branding Blog:

Considering the following 6 salary negotiation factors should give you an educated guess about the best course of action in your situation.

1. What is your current compensation structure? Running a recruiting firm, when I see that an employer is offering a new job applicant the same or only slightly higher (less than 10%) of a salary than they are currently making, it typically leaves room for successful negotiation. In the majority of circumstances, you can be successful negotiating a compensation package that is up to 15% higher than what you are currently pulling in.

2. Have you held more than 3 jobs in the past 2 years? If you have held numerous jobs in the past few years, employers will view you as less of a long-term investment and thus will give you less wiggle room when attempting to ask for additional compensation. Luckily, this can be prevented if you have sound reasoning for departing those past positions and you broach the topic earlier in the interview process, as opposed to waiting until you receive the offer.

3. Has the job been open for more than 2 months? The more desperate a company is to get a job search over with, the more flexible they are going to be when approached for more money. Our executive recruiters have noticed a significant change in flexibility around the 2-month mark, as by this time an employer has spent numerous hours trying to find the right applicant and has most likely endured a lot of disappointments during the recruitment process.

For more tips, read the whole article.

Facts are fine things to bring into a negotiation process. But they are no replacement for having confidence in yourself and conviction that you are asking to be paid a fair and appropriate amount.

Planning to move and wondering whether to tell the boss


The Career Doctor recently received an interesting question from an anonymous reader. The questioner said that they enjoyed their job but detested the city where they lived. Should they tell their boss that they may be moving?

In “It’s a “Chicken or the Egg” Job-Search Dilemma” comes the reply:

The safest solution to your current situation is to job-hunt confidentially. I’ve found that even the most understanding and wonderful bosses can sometimes turn mean and nasty once they realize you are no longer loyal to them or the organization….

Read the full reply here.

When I was in this situation myself many years ago, I decided to tell my employer that I intended to move to Seattle within the year. I felt comfortable doing so because I had observed that the company never retaliated against employees who gave very generous amounts of notice, and management encouraged employees to give as much notice as possible.

So I took a risk, and it paid off. Not only was I able to help hire my replacement without jeopardizing my job, but when an unexpected opportunity arose at the company to coordinate a short-term special project, the company asked me to postpone my move for a few months to take on the job. I got a substantial raise and housing allowance, managed a fascinating new project, and still moved when it suited me. I never regretted telling my employer that I planned to move, but not all employees are so lucky.