New Grads: How To Negotiate With Confidence

When we talk about “negotiating”, most of us think that there is always a financial factor involved. That’s true, but there is something more: respect and value. The fact that we might not have the seniority/experience does not mean our ideas are not good. Did Mark Zuckerberg have 10 years of experience when he created Facebook? No. He stay focused and had confidence that this social site would revolutionize the world.

So, how is negotiating important to your career? For any profession, communicating effectively will ensure your success in any job because you would have the skills to land a project with a big client or get the budget you ask for in the spot. Additionally, research shows that failure to negotiate your starting salary could result in a loss of $500,000 or more throughout the life of your career.

No matter what your experience, these 5 tips will show you how to negotiate with confidence, whether it be for a contract or a salary:

1. Know what you’re worth

You have outstanding talents and skills that will make you standout from others, but are you aware of them? Are you showcasing that uniqueness through a portfolio or a blog? All this material will back you up and is your only credential to the world of your capacities. Be prepared and build a plan about how to sell yourself to a client or a company. That way you will kill that fear of uncertainty and make you feel comfortable. Successful professionals never negotiate without a strategy.

2. Leave some room to play

Whether it’s a budget for a contract or your starting salary, have a number in mind, and always be the first one to shoot for the top range.

3. Don’t accept the first offer

Companies are businesses and are trying to minimize costs at all levels. Don’t take it personally, but stand your ground. if you end up taking less, that means your work is not as valuable. Educate them instead, and tell them how you can help them succeed.

4. Be nice and show respect

If you let clients and companies decide how much you should charge for your work, you are leaving respect, dignity and money on the table. Be confident and ask for what you need. Inform the client about why you are charging what you are charging, and they will be more likely to accept your proposal.

5. Do your homework

Study the client or the company you’ll be working with. The more you know, the better you can spot opportunities and bring up possible solutions. Companies are always looking for problem-solvers and workers with initiative. Also, if you know who you’ll be interviewing with, that’s your chance to make an emotional bond with the person or team because they’ll remember how you made them feel.
Overall, mastering the art of negotiating is a skill that comes with time and practice, but is not impossible. Just take yourself out of the comfort zone, have confidence in you and ask for what will make you successful.

“Ask for what you want, and be prepared to get it” – Maya Angelou


About the Author

Cesar Idrobo is an Industrial Designer and founder of Designiscooler. Freelancer. Social Media Nerd. Car Enthusiast. Book eater and a SCAD Alumni.

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