Negotiating Your Salary and Benefits Package
Much has been written about negotiating salary and benefits, but most of it boils down to knowing what you're worth in the marketplace, identifying which benefits are important to you, and putting a price tag on the benefits offered by your prospective employer so you can evaluate the real value of an offer. Total compensation encompasses much more than just salary.
When meeting with prospective employers, find out what benefits and perks the company gives employees in the position you're applying for, what an average pay increase is, and what benefits might be added to sweeten the pot if they're not able or willing to offer the salary you'd like.
To find out how much you'd need to earn in a new city to equate to your current salary, use the cost of living calculator at Homefair.com. Enter the city and state you're moving from and to, your current salary, and whether you'd prefer to own or rent.
Experts caution job seekers to delay discussing salary until well into the interview process and to avoid telling interviewers your current salary. You shouldn't be pegged into a salary range that's lower than the going rate just because you're underpaid in your current job, and discussing salary too early in the process can stick you with a lower than acceptable offer or, conversely, take you out of the running if your current salary is too high.
The goal is to have enough interaction with the interviewer to have a chance to sell yourself and convince her that you're the right person for the job before salary is discussed in any detail. The objective of asking your current salary or the salary you're looking for is usually to pay you as little as possible.