Negotiating your salary is the hardest part in your career and you have to do it tactfully and carefully. Many job candidates feel uncomfortable discussing their salary and end up accepting the first salary offer they hear. But negotiating is definitely worth your while. Not only can it result in a better starting salary and benefits, it will also affect later pay raises and future earnings. Following are a few tips that will help you negotiate terms.

1. First of all, and most importantly, you need to know your market value. Know what you are worth before negotiating your salary. Talk with friends who have similar jobs: agencies or recruiters and people who work in comparable positions. Keep in mind, though, that salaries often vary according to location, as does the cost of living.

2. Whenever possible, always try to get the employer to volunteer salary information first. If he/she indicates a certain range of pay, you should ask for a salary toward the top of that range or even slightly above it.

3. Most times, however, the employer will ask you to volunteer your salary requirements first. In this case, you should be as non-specific as possible. Be skilful and dodge the money questions when they come your way. Instead of an exact amount, always give a range and indicate that you are willing to negotiate. Be careful to convey the attitude that the job is more important than the money. You might say something like, "Although money is an important factor, I am most interested in this opportunity because I think it gives me a good opportunity to work in your company and also gives me good exposure and also represents a good match between your needs and my qualifications."

If however you are not satisfied with the negotiation then it will be a good idea to consider other offers or continue looking for a more suitable position. Do not make the mistake of accepting a position that you are unhappy with. At the same time, however, keep in mind that competition for jobs in today's economy is very tough. It might not be difficult for the company/employer to find somebody else to fill a position you turned down. Therefore keep your expectations realistic and do not ask for the stars. Once you have been working for that employer for a while and have proven yourself to be a valuable commodity, you can attempt further negotiations.

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