So much has been written about salary negotiations. Some say you need to counter-offer at least twice. Some say to leave benefits out of the conversation entirely. Some say to come into negotiations with a hard and fast rule and a willingness to walk away.
We think there may be a better way.
Professionals who know their value walk into these conversations not as adversaries, but as individuals with an ability to understand the larger picture of how their position fits into the company’s overall strategy. And employers looking to build teams of strong performers are looking to earn employee loyalty, in part through compensation packages.
When you’re in salary talks for an executive position, especially at an emerging company, the actual conversation may go in a variety of directions. Here are some tools to make sure you’re prepared for a discussion about your next salary.
- Be Transparent
This isn’t poker. Show your cards. Be honest about what you need to earn and show how that earning plays into the larger organizational goals. Map your role, as you understand it, and show how that role’s compensation is earned through an unrelenting focus on delivering business results. Research competitors in the industry to have information about their compensation packages and turnover.
- Make a Joint Compensation Decision
If you walk in a room spoiling for a fight, you may get one. Approach the conversation with a calm, clear head and a positive attitude. Instead of an adversarial, tense negotiation, you are looking for a collaborative conversation between engaged parties.
- Be Open and Flexible
Depending on a company’s position and growth trajectory, compensation packages within the overall company framework may be very strong but not appear that way. Pay attention to how the role grows along with the company. Devoting attention to the short-, medium- and long-term perspectives will help you make a career decision instead of a for-now decision.
- Buy Into the Vision
At emerging companies, cash is sometimes in short supply. The value of your compensation package isn’t just in cash and benefits. Performance-based compensation and salary growth shows your employer that you’re engaged with his or her vision, not just another employee.
Your career and the company you work with are intertwined. One’s success is the other’s. Walk into a salary conversation understanding this, and both parties will be satisfied with the results.