You try your best to establish your skill set, high work standards, and ideal salary range in an interview. Then, you still get a written salary offer that is lower than expected for the engineering job you had interviewed for.
Asking for a higher salary feels stressful, but most employers expect you to negotiate at least a little. They know that their first offer isn't at the top of their budget. They know they can afford to pay you more, but it would be crazy to give you their highest salary offer right off the bat.
Here are 3 techniques you can use to successfully negotiate your ideal salary amount, even after you've already received a written and signed employment offer letter.
1. Validate your salary expectations
Back up your ideal salary amount with data from services such as Glassdoor. There are many online resources available that can help you show employers you are worth more than they are offering.
You can simply do this by comparing industry averages and standards.
Also, remember it's always best to make a phone call instead of writing an email to schedule a time to talk about the official offer letters. It’s an opportunity to ask questions about why a lower salary was offered.
You might be given a legitimate reason as to why you aren't worth that higher salary right now. However, you will hear details on how you can achieve that higher salary by participating in special projects or assignments.
2. Go the extra mile with a 30-60-90 Plan
Once you've scheduled a meeting to discuss your compensation, be prepared to present a 30-60-90 plan. This is a written plan for your first 90 days on the job, typically with a separate section or entire new page for each 30-day period.
Research the organization and position, thoroughly. You need to do this to successfully tailor the 30-60-90 plan to your employer's needs.
Make sure to include in your plan the time spent training, learning the company's systems, and meeting key employees. After day 90, you can include adding new strategies and offer feedback on existing company processes.
I recommend job seekers ask detailed questions and take detailed notes during each interview stage. Whether it be on the phone or face to face, gathering information and data is helpful and can later be used to build your 30-60-90 Plan.
3. How to use the PSI Framework to prove your worth
PSI is an acronym for Problem, Solution, Impact. Use this PSI model to prove your worth to a potential employer during salary negotiations.
Identify the #1 problem you are able to solve while at the company.
This could be something with the development of a product, a company process, or a technological conundrum that your experience will help solve.
Highlight the solution you offer with accurate details
Make sure to share the impact that solution will have on the project’s outcome or the company’s bottom line. The impact should relate to something important and measurable to the company.
This impact could be used to increase sales number or revenue, speed up a process to achieve results quickly, or increase a product’s final quality, or improve customer satisfaction and loyalty.
During the interview process find out how your performance will be measured so that you can use those facts and figure when the time comes to ask for higher compensation.
Try these tips after your next salary offer
Trying these tips will lead you to the engineering salary you want based on your hard work, knowledge, and experience.
And remember that in life and career, we often don’t get what we deserve, we get what we successfully negotiate.