Leaving money on the negotiating table means less funding for daily expenses. This makes digging out of financial trouble or saving money during stable times harder. Effectively negotiating an hourly rate requires patience to weigh options before accepting fool’s gold. It is in your best interest to make the best case for a favorable hourly rate. Not going after the hourly rate you deserve can leave you chronically regretful and underpaid.
It is in an employer’s best interest to offer workers the least amount of money they will accept. Workers should never forget this while negotiating. Allowing the joy of returning to work or landing a first job to overwhelm you can prove unwise. Saying yes to a low offer may signal a lack of confidence or inexperience. Making this impression could put you at a disadvantage during future negotiations. Establishing yourself as a shrewd negotiator can ensure you secure the hourly wage you deserve.
Seeing what a colleague charged for an hourly rate can help a negotiator determine a fair price.While it violates professional etiquette to ask a colleague her salary, it is acceptable to ask a colleague for guidance based on her expertise. Pose your questions to respected colleagues in person or post them to professional forums that you actively visit. Searching the Bureau of Labor Statistics and salary reporting sites such as Salary.com and Glassdoor.com can also give you facts to support your position. An additional strategy is to contacting human resources departments in your area for current salary ranges.
It is important to weigh the pros and cons of every job offer. Rash decisions may end in regret. Taking work at a lower rate than you need may damage your financial outlook. Examine your budget to determine the minimum salary you can feasibly take. It is also critical to consider personal savings, current workload and job perks when negotiating an hourly rate. For example, proximity to home and flexible scheduling may elevate a lower paying over a higher paying job with limited growth opportunities. There may be a time to play hardball but the midst of a hiring spree is not it. Studying the hiring habits of your opponent can help you make better decisions.
Undervaluing your work can make you resent your profession. It is critical to provide strong arguments that support your need for a higher hourly rate. Use performance evaluations and customer feedback to highlight ways you rank above peers in core skill areas. Mention professional distinctions such as receiving achievement or service awards, serving on leadership boards or contributing to community projects. Getting the employer or client to name a price first may place you at an advantage.
Balking at final offers or failing to budge from your position may prove unwise. Hard “nos” can make future offers from offended employers or private clients less likely. Standing too firmly on your hourly rate can result in rejection in favor of a more pliable candidate. Decline offers with class in case you must or wish to reapply. If freelancing, find ways to make an offer work, without sacrificing your earnings. Perhaps you could exchange professional services or work out payment arrangements to foster long-term partnerships.