Everyone wants the best possible deal when being hired for a new position or in salary renegotiations. However, 52% of men and 68% of women accept the salary offered without any attempt at negotiation. To make matter’s worse, Mississippi’s economic situation might make some people even more hesitant than usual to negotiate for fear of losing the offer.

In any economic climate, the trick to negotiating effectively is leverage. In other words, the more you have to offer the company, the more you can request in return. With over 75% of hiring managers agreeing that a college diploma is essential to be hired, finishing a degree might be that missing piece of your negotiating puzzle.

Once you have a wider variety of skills and talents to offer present or potential employers, you can feel more confident in negotiation for better terms - even when the economy is on a downturn. If you’re still not convinced that it’s worth the hassle, consider this: People who don’t ask for higher pay miss out on additional earnings of over a million dollars throughout their lifetime.

Let’s take a look at some strategies you can use to make sure you get the best deal possible from your new position.

Talk to the right person
Before you start negotiating specifics of a job offer, you need to make sure you’re talking with the right person. Whether you’re asking for a higher salary, more benefits, or paid sick leave, it’s in your best interest to speak directly with someone who has the authority to make those decisions. If you speak with a lower-ranking representative without influence over these factors, you may be wasting your time. Before you get into the specifics about your offer, be sure that the person you are negotiating with has the ability to make the decision or at least influence and advocate on your behalf. If not, request to set up a meeting with that person. This can greatly increase your chances of getting the outcome for which you’re hoping.

Explain your value
Even though economic pressures might be the real reason you’re requesting a higher salary or additional benefits, this isn’t the best way to approach prospective employers. Instead of talking about what you need from them, focus on ways that you can be of value. Talk about how your experience, skills, and education can directly benefit the company. This is a much more effective negotiating technique than referencing your money troubles. Touching on key strengths that were highlighted in the job description can make it easier to catch the attention of hiring managers.

Have a backup offer
Although many people feel like all of the power rests with the employer, think of negotiation more like a discussion between two people who can both benefit from the conversation. When working for a better deal than what was originally offered, it’s always important to have a second option just in case your potential employer doesn’t agree. Having a clear, alternative choice outlined prepares you to counter offer if you’re initial request is met with a firm ‘no’. Thinking through your backup plan may empower you to ask for a little more in your first offer, knowing that you’re prepared to give up a few benefits in order to gain what is really important to you.

Be open to receiving non-monetary improvements
While salary is arguably the most important part of a professional contract, there are a host of other important perks that go into this agreement, including health benefits, pension payments, studying grants, flexible scheduling, paid vacation and insurance - just to name a few. When negotiating for a better deal overall, you should be open to receiving improvements in areas other than just your salary. Not only will this benefit you, but employers might be more willing to sweeten other pieces of the pie if they’re fixed on salary.

Ask for time to consider the deal
Don’t feel pressured to agree to the terms right there on the spot. It’s perfectly reasonable to ask for some time to think about the conditions. You shouldn’t allow the current economic situation to pressure you into agreeing on a bad deal. Instead, request a day or two to think about the offer. Take this time to do some calculations to make sure that the salary and benefits you were offered would be enough to support your current lifestyle, at least. If you have other job prospects on the table, you should also compare each to see which offers more. This extra time can give you the reassurance that you’re making the best decision.

A degree makes it easier to negotiate
Holding a college degree is among the best ways to negotiate for a better deal. Not only can a college diploma get you into more interviews, but it will also give you an extra edge when negotiating in this unstable economy. With millions of Americans currently out of work, a degree might be just the thing you need to convince a potential employer to give you a better deal. Employers see a college degree as a valuable asset that proves an employee’s ability to finish what they start. This can instantly put you in a better position to negotiate for a better salary. 

C2C is the best path forward
The Complete 2 Compete program is an initiative specifically designed to aid MS adults in their return to college to complete a degree. If you’ve been impacted by the recent economic crisis, the C2C Program can help you make the most of this uncertain time by finding you the most effective path towards a degree. That way, you can return to the job market with better qualifications and more job prospects. Here are some advantages of the program:

  1. C2C Coach - Every participant in the C2C Program is paired with a dedicated C2C Coach who will work with students one-on-one to find the most suitable and quickest path towards graduation. You’ll have access to these coaches from the second you apply all the way through until graduation.
  2. C2C Grant - This $1,000 grant is renewable each qualifying semester. Eligible C2C program participants can use this funding to help cover the cost of tuition at any public university or community college throughout the state.

Contact the C2C Program today to see how close you are to graduation already.