This article about salary negotiation originally appeared in LinkedIn. If we’re not connected there and you’d like to be, reach out here.
As a specialized technology transfer recruiting firm, we see a large number of salary negotiations at some of the most prestigious research institutions in the world. Yet even at this level, we see some back and forths that make us shake our heads. Here are some of the most common candidate mistakes we see and they often cost the person the job:
Mistakes to Avoid When Negotiating a Salary
It’s important to remember the employer may be really excited about hiring you but this isn’t like negotiating the price of a car. You don’t want the other party to squirm. You need to work with them when the dust clears. Don’t leave a bad taste in their mouths by trying to head up a ruthless negotiation. Don’t:
Change Your Mind
When working with a recruiter you have a bit of an edge because you already know the ballpark of what the position is paying. Don’t agree to this ballpark and then wait for an offer only to change your mind and try to negotiate something that is outside of that range. It makes you look bad. It also makes the recruiter look like they didn’t vet you properly. Rest assured that will only happen once.
Settle for Less Than You’re Worth
Self-inflated egos aside, if you accept a job under your desired salary range it better be a good opportunity to get your foot in the door because after accepting it, you’ll find you may grow restless and bitter once you settle in. Know your worth (your honest worth. We’d all like to make a cool mill each year) and make sure before going for that interview that you and the employer are in the same range.
Focus on the Numbers Only
Sometimes an employer simply doesn’t have the budget to go any higher, especially if what you’re asking for places you on the high end of their pay band. In these cases, it is sometimes easier for them to grant other benefits like additional bonuses or extra vacation. Look for ways to be flexible in these cases. Your solution-finding abilities may impress them.
Salary negotiation is important because it sets the trajectory for your earning potential within your new organization. However, you’re looking to build bridges in an intellectual property department position. If you can’t negotiate your own salary in a professional manner, you will be setting the tone and telling the employer that negotiating tech transfer agreements on their behalf might not be a good fit.