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Do You Know What You're Worth?

posted on: 2012-06-11

In our society we are often taught that talking about money or even asking for it outright is taboo and considered bad manners. When you are offered a job you want to make certain that the offer presented to you is fair and reasonable for what is being asked of you. What if you don’t know what that is?

Do Your Homework

You may have an excellent resume and possess great qualifications, but if you don’t know what they are currently worth in your industry they are useless to you. Find out what the salary rate is for a sous chef in a five star hotel, or an entertainer on a cruise ship, or whatever position it is that you’re interested in.

The interviewer will usually ask you what salary range you are looking for. If you have done your research ahead of time you will know exactly what to say when the need arises.

The Art of Negotiation

Unless the offer is stellar from the get-go, you may have to negotiate. If the interviewer tells you what the starting salary is and you believe the offer is a little low based on your experience and skill set, say so.

Be diplomatic when stating your position. You can point out again your education, any credentials, internships or other experience you may have had in the field. If the interviewer lets you know there is no room for negotiation then feel free to ask what else comes with the compensation you’re being offered.

Are there medical benefits? Group savings plans? Company car, computer or cell phone? Stock options or profit sharing? All of these elements combined can make a very attractive package besides the cash itself.

Remember Your Manners

No interviewer wants to think he’s negotiating with a diva. Let the interviewer introduce the topic of salary first, and negotiate politely from there if necessary. Do not be forceful or demanding in the way you negotiate. You want to be seen as assertive, not aggressive. Make your case with the facts contained in your resume and wait for the interviewer to respond to what you’ve said.

Always be professional, courteous and polite. If you fly off the handle or overreact to what you believe is an unfair offer, you’ll only be burning your bridges. Word gets around quickly and in a tight-knit industry like hospitality and tourism you never know who knows someone in the next place where you’re interviewing. If you believe the offer made to you is unreasonable, be prepared to calmly walk away.

Remember the goal is to get the job you want with an offer that will let you be valued for your own accomplishments and make you an asset to the company who chooses to hire you.


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