Just because the job market is a bit tight right now, it’s important to keep your salary demands where they should be once you start negotiating the offer. Employers who are hiring, need to hire good people. It’s important to remember, that employers know what they can pay, and they wouldn’t be talking to you if they didn’t know what you were worth.
Don’t low ball yourself, just because you think that they company can’t pay. If you feel that their offer is low, ask how much room there is to negotiate, and find out where they can negotiate. I have had numerous conversations with clients who will accept a salary at a lower level because they’re afraid to ask for more because they think the company will go to the next person. It’s important to establish your needs too.
I’ve worked with many clients who feel like they’re caught between a rock and a hard place. They’re in a position where they desperately need a job, but stuck with an offer that’s too low. Other times they consider taking a position that might not be the best opportunity, or even yet, a career demotion. Remember this, if it’s right, you’ll know it. If the job offer isn’t right, you’ll only be second guessing yourself within a matter of months. Perhaps you won’t be able to fully dedicate yourself to the position and will continue looking for another job. You’ve got to be fair to yourself as well as the employer. In some cases, you may find yourself unemployed again within six months due to unsatisfactory performance or voluntary resignation.
Ok, so I guess you need a solution, that’s what I always try to provide. The solution here is to perform an individual assessment of your career goals, determine the hard core values and strenghts that you bring to an employer, and place a fair dollar amount on yourself. Then you assess the company’s goals, how you fit into the picture, determine if the core values of the company match yours, and see if there’s a match. I’m not trying to over simplify this, I realize that there are many things that factor in to that; it’s not a black and white issue. The point to remember is that you need to know what you are worth, set your standards, and command the salary that you require for your level of experience. In a nut shell, keep your salary demands where they should be.