The more I thought about a discussion I had with someone who had read in several job search books that all companies give you a low-ball offer and you have to negotiate salary for the industry average or higher, the more I thought - wait a minute, it's not that simple.
Industry average for salary is just what it says - an average. If you're in a city like New York City, or Boston, for example, the salary range is going to be different than if you're in a smaller town like Utica, New York or North Adams, Massacusetts.
The salary range will also depend on the company and the level of position. The entry level job offer that she is considering is less negotiable than a high level position, both because there is more likely to be a set salary range for an entry level job, and because it's a level playing field when it comes to the applicant pool. You also have to consider benefits as part of the overall compensation package.
The other important part of our conversation was that she was going to counter with a much higher salary, like the book told her to do. In my opinion, it's better to choose your words and negotiate carefully. Before you do, research salaries so you have an idea of a reasonable starting salary for the job. In addition, to using salary calculators, spend some time looking for specific information on the company and the job.
Google the company name and the job title, use Indeed.com's Salary Search, and check for salary information on Glassdoor.com. It took a few minutes, but I was able to find specific information on the position, which helped the applicant frame a response to the job offer.
I guess the moral of the story is not to believe everything you read. Rather, take the time to research the job offer you are considering. Remember, what's most important when accepting a position is that you're comfortable with the job, the compensation, and the potential for the future. If not, weigh the risk of not accepting a lower offer with having to continue your job search.
Image Copyright John Hughes