If you have been toying with the idea of making a lateral job change, you have the perfect opportunity to negotiate a larger salary with a new company. Once you select a company you would be interested in working for, set up an interview with an idea of your worth and a salary already in mind. Remember you have the upper hand during the interview. If you are impressive enough to get a job offer, then it’s up to your potential employer to entice you to come to work for their company. This means he/she will have to offer you something more than you are getting from your current employer. Chances are that will be a higher salary base than you currently bring home. With this in mind, you will need to be open to negotiation with your prospective employer. But keep your expectations reasonable, you don’t want to insult the person you may someday be working for.

The one thing you can count on is the job experience and knowledge you’ve already retained. This includes knowledge of the current pay range for the position you are presently in. It has to make sense for you to leave your current position to go to work for another company.

Salary negotiations aren’t limited to lateral job moves. If you are new to the job market, or have been unemployed for any length of time you will want to negotiate your wages at the time of the job offer as well.

The most important thing to remember is not to jump the gun and offer up your expected wages before hearing your potential employer’s offer and the reasoning behind it.

You always want the company to offer you a dollar amount, before any negotiations begin. The rule is whomever talks money first loses. Once the company has given you a salary range, it gives you something to work off of.

If your interviewer asks you what kind of wages you expect, prior to giving you an offer, you should simply answer, “without fully knowing what the job entails, I can’t really consider a fair compensation for the position”. It is completely appropriate to ask him/her what the companies budget is for the position, before giving your offer.

You must always go into the interview prepared for some sort of salary discussion. If your interviewer doesn’t discuss the topic at the time of the interview, then be prepared for some sort of questioning when offered the job. If you are knowledgeable of the going pay range for the position you are applying for, and you take into consideration your qualifications for the position you are applying for, then the negotiations should go smoothly.

If you are unclear about what your position is worth, do some research. There are plenty of websites (http://www.salary.com, http://www.salaryexpert.com) that can give you the answers you need to walk into any salary negotiations confident of your worth and salary demands.

Author's Bio: 

Terry Harris, the Premier Interview Coach and Consultant, specializes in the teachings of Real World Interview Skills to both individual and small business clients. For more information on his online services, products, and customized coaching packages go to: http://www.TGHarris.com.