The Great Resignation has been groundbreaking for one key reason: It’s opened up a world of possibilities for workers all over the world. Many have discovered for the first time that it’s possible to work in a job they love that compensates them fairly and allows them to live a fulfilling life outside the office.
However, it’s also become clear that old habits die-hard. Though many companies are now adjusting to the “new normal,” others have been slow on the uptake –– particularly as relates to supporting employees. In fact, The Guardian found recently that wages in the UK aren’t keeping up with the current cost of living.
Aside from highlighting the fact that many companies still need to adjust to new conditions, this information highlights the fact that the art of negotiation is as vital as ever today. By knowing how to work your way to the right job offer, you can avoid issues of unfair compensation or poor conditions, and reap all the benefits a good workplace is capable of providing.
Here are a few tips to help you hone your negotiating skills.
Know the playing field
Establishing the grounds of your negotiation requires extensive knowledge of the current job market. Start by researching the average wages in your field. This will help you avoid settling for entry-level pay. Additionally, study the jobs you’re applying to by looking at the benefits they offer. Aside from paid time off, medical coverage, and SIPP assistance, look for benefits like child care and relocation expenses. If a company in question doesn’t offer these benefits, you’ll know to negotiate for them.
For all of your research preparations, we’ve recommended consulting a career advisor. A professional in this role can give you the compensation and benefits information you need, and even help you review your career options and negotiation strategies.
Know your worth
Familiarising yourself with your strong points will help you further justify negotiations. And while you can certainly begin by highlighting your educational background and relevant work experience, LHH recommends emphasising your soft skills as well. Communication, organisation, critical thinking, social savvy, creativity, and adaptability are just some of the skills in this regard that employers value tremendously.
Start showcasing your proficiency in these areas through your resume, cover letter, and even your LinkedIn profile. Provide context to back up each claim. This will make it easier for employers to discern that you’re the best candidate in the lot — and improve the chances of a successful negotiation. Notably, this can be particularly helpful for women: The BBC reports that the gender pay gap is exacerbated because women are less likely to negotiate. With demonstrated strength in desirable soft skills though, that negotiation becomes somewhat more natural.
Compelling negotiations rely on a believable performance. If exuding confidence doesn’t come easy to you, a bit of practice can get you to where you want to be. Tap a friend, colleague, relative, or even a mentor from university and have them work through various scenarios with you. Then, put your newly honed skills into practice.
One tip you should take to heart is to never be afraid to ask for anything, whether it be a simple clarification or a request for a better offer. As long as inquiries are made respectfully, you won’t come off as being rude or greedy, so much as confident and assertive. Finally, remember to show enthusiasm to potential employers! This will show that you’re truly excited about the job in question — and employers will see you as a worthy addition to their teams and company cultures.
Pulling off a successful negotiation requires a balance of credentials, skills, knowledge, and confidence. With the tips above, you can master the art of striking that balance, and make it all the more likely that you’ll land the job you want.
MADELEINE SPENCER is a freelance writer who specializes in pieces on career advice. She always aims to cover issues that can help readers reach their career development goals in line with the current business climate.