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5 Rules of Salary Negotiation Instead of fearing salary negotiation, here are five rules every professional should follow when asking for a raise.

By Heather Huhman

This story originally appeared on Glassdoor

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Are you hoping to receive an awesome job offer? Are you praying that your employer will give you a raise this year?

Whether it's the fear of being perceived as pushy or feeling uncomfortable about the negotiation process, professionals are hesitant when it comes to salary negotiation.

Related: How to Handle a Salary Counteroffer

Make it a goal this year to earn the salary you deserve. Instead of fearing salary negotiation, here are five rules every professional should follow when asking for a raise.

1. Avoid accepting the first offer.

When negotiating a job offer, don't be quick to say "yes." Instead, tell the employer you need more time to think about the offer.

Ask the employer if you can provide a response within the next 24 to 48 hours. During this time, sit down with the job offer and determine whether it's a fair offer. After you've made your decision, approach the employer with your counteroffer and be ready to negotiate a higher salary.

2. Don't be the first to share a number.

The art of salary negotiation is to wait for the employer to make their offer. Unless the employer asks what your expected salary is, don't provide a number until requested. The key is to be patient and wait for the employer to present what they think is a suitable salary for your experience and skills.

Related: How to Craft a Winning Cover Letter in 10 Minutes

3. Keep your emotions in check.

Salary negotiation can put you through a roller coaster of emotions. It can be scary, stressful, exciting and even frustrating. Regardless of how challenging the salary negotiation process becomes, make sure to keep a positive attitude and stay professional.

4. Remember to negotiate additional perks.

What many job seekers overlook during the negotiation process is the additional benefits they're receiving as a part of the job offer. Instead of solely focusing on the salary, pay attention to other perks such as health benefits, a sign-on bonus, paid vacation time and the opportunity to telecommute. It's very likely an employer will be open to offering you additional perks if they can't promise a higher salary.

5. Find balance between what you're worth and what the employer can offer.

The most important rule of negotiating a salary is knowing what you're worth and what the employer can offer. The last thing you want to do is to request a higher salary and more benefits without doing your research first.

Related: How to Be Authentic in an Interview

For example, if you applied for a marketing position at a small nonprofit, you can't expect the organization to have the same budget as a large marketing firm in New York City. Before you negotiate your salary, determine how much you should be paid for the position you've applied for. This will help you think of a realistic counteroffer to present to the employer.

Salary negotiation is a challenging process for many professionals, but it can be one of the most rewarding things you do for your career. By following these rules of salary negotiation, hopefully you'll earn the salary you deserve this year.

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