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Negotiating Your Starting Salary

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feldman_amy Amy Feldman
Amy E. Feldman is a business commentator and legal business...
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By Amy E. Feldman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - If you’ve been offered a job, you need to know that the offer: “congratulations! You got the job, the salary is X” may not be all that the company’s willing to pay to get you. How do you negotiate a salary?

At age 16, Oprah had her first brush with media broadcasting, and her first opportunity to negotiate on her own behalf. She won a watch through a radio contest and when she went to the station to pick it up, she asked to read for the producers and secured herself a spot as an on-air reporter earning $100 per week.

The first time to negotiate your salary is before you even step foot into your new office.

According to a survey by Careerbuilder.com, 58% of hiring managers make a first offer that can be renegotiated. If the offer seems low or is not what you’d hoped for, ask the manager if there is any room to negotiate starting salary. Remember that dollars aren’t the only thing up for negotiation.

If salary can’t be increased, you can ask for more vacation or other benefits. Never negotiate so hard or in any kind of fashion that would spoil the company’s impression of you off the bat, but it’s worth discussing.

It might not get you the $200 million per year Oprah makes, but even she started somewhere – you, too, are on your way to success if you act as your own best advocate.

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