I’m Dr. Hassan, a Board-Certified Physiatrist and Independent Practice Owner. I help physiatrists start and grow their own profitable practices so they can achieve financial independence and live without limits.
The most challenging part of a job interview, for many candidates, is a question of salary. Discussing money matters with confidence will help you get the compensation you want and improve your job satisfaction. These are some steps to take to handle salary discussions–before you get a job offer after you get a job offer, and in specific circumstances:
Steps to take before you get a job offer:
1. Postpone the discussion. It’s always best to let the employer go first in any salary discussion. Try to postpone discussing compensation until you receive a job offer. That way, you have a better chance of staying in the running and negotiating with an employer who truly wants you on their team.
2. Assess your individual situation. The exact approach you take will depend on the situation. You may be required to fill out an application stating your salary expectations. In that case, try naming a range rather than a specific figure.
3. Stress your interest in the position. Let the people interviewing you know that you’re enthusiastic about their organization and the position. Explain that monetary compensation is just one factor for you and that you’re also interested in career advancement, gratifying work, and other considerations.
4. Conduct background research. Gather all the information you can about average salaries for the openings you’re considering. Visit your local library or check online websites such as salary.com.
Steps to take after you get a job offer:
1. Ask for clarification. Congratulations on receiving a job offer. Now is the time to discuss the salary. It’s still advantageous if you can get the employer to take the first step and let you know the budget they’re working with.
2. Be honest about your salary history. Any salary information you provide can be verified, so tell the whole truth. You may be able to strengthen your position by citing other relevant benefits, including bonuses.
3. Evaluate the whole package. Remember that your salary is just one item in your entire compensation package. Pay attention to all the details, including paid leave, health insurance, and retirement accounts.
4. Negotiate in good faith. Aim for a win-win solution. To start on a good relationship with your employer, you both want to feel treated fairly.
5. Put it in writing. Ask for a written letter of agreement or cite everything you discussed in your thank you letter or email following up on the job offer. You want to be sure you’re on the same page.
Steps to take in special circumstances:
1. Juggle multiple job offers skillfully. It’s common to use one offer to leverage another offer to the position you most prefer. Give each prospective employer a firm date for making a decision and decline graciously if you choose to work elsewhere.
2. Interview for lower-paying positions. Go ahead and check out a position that sounds promising, even if that stated pay is less than you need. You may propose how you can be of extra value and wind up making you and your new boss very happy.
3. Consider taking a pay cut. There are times when your income is likely to decline. If you’re faced with a challenging economy or looking to change careers, a pay cut may make sense.
4. Work with a recruiter. One of the easiest ways to handle salary discussions is to work with a recruiter. They usually manage much of the financial arrangements for you. But remember you always have to do your own due diligence.
Show up for your next interview feeling ready and able to handle the question of compensation. There are many factors to consider when making a career move, and salary discussions are critical issues we all need to address.
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I am Dr. Hassan, Board-Certified Physiatrist and Independent Practice Owner. I help physiatrists start and grow their own independent practice so that they can achieve financial independence and live without limits. Please go to businessofrehab.com/contractnegotiations to pick up the free guide to help you negotiate the contract after you get the job of your dreams.
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