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Dynamite Salary Negotiations: Know What You're Worth and Get It! Paperback – August 19, 1997
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Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
From Chapter 1: You may be worth a lot more than you think - or at least more than what's in your paycheck. If you want to make more money in your present or future job, then this book is for you. If you're not sure what you're worth, or how to handle a job offer, then let's talk.
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I have read several books on the subject and picked up a few pointers from each...so this is not the only volume you should read, but make it part of the overall education on the subject.
Dynamite Salary Negotiations focuses on money, specifically how the reader can most effectively position himself to receive the highest compensation for a particular position. This book is especially useful because it openly discusses the traditionally secretive process of salary negotiation. In the United States especially, discussing one's salary and how he/she negotiated his/her last salary is a cultural taboo; therefore, it is very difficult to learn from others how to develop this skill. In contrast, many people will give you tips based on their experience about how they successfully engaged in a job search or how they performed in an interview. This book uses a direct style to compensate for the gaps that our culture has created allowing the reader to develop skills and techniques that will help him/her with the last step in accepting a position.
As with any negotiation, preparation is the key element for success. Nine chapters out of the twelve in the book focus on preparation, specifically the meaning of salary, myths, compensation trends, knowing your worth, rules for success, responding to ads and applications, communication tips, and resources to help the reader value his/her experience. This preparation is the most important aspect of salary negotiation. The authors state, most people are probably under compensated by 10-20% and cheat themselves by failing to do two important things concerning their value, "They fail to understand and calculate their true worth and they fail to properly negotiate the highest possible salary" (Krannich, 2). It is impossible to know these two things without proper research and preparation.
The authors successfully use bullet points, lists and examples as supporting information within the book. In chapter two for example, the authors discuss several myths about salary negotiations. This section is extremely important because the taboo nature of the topic invites incorrect assumptions and conclusions that can negatively affect the uninformed job hunter. The juxtaposition of myths and realities creates a framework that is easily understood and non-threatening for the reader. Presented in this way the myths can be dispelled without making the reader feel incompetent or stupid. One of the most interesting myths is, "I'll have a better chance of getting the job if I don't ask for much money; I don't cost as much as other candidates" (Krannich, 17). As the authors explain, "This is the `penny wise pound foolish' mentality of extreme bargain shoppers who transfer the same mentality into the job market" (Krannish, 18). He proceeds to explain that employers are not searching for a bargain but want value in prospective employees.
Once the myths and realities of salary negotiation are discussed, the authors turn their attention to issue of the reader's worth and calculating it properly. This part of the book is useful because as the authors explain, "if you don't know your value before applying for a position, you may well apply for the wrong job as well as under-value or over-value yourself" (Krannich, 48). This is one of the most difficult tasks a job seeker must do but is critical to finding the right position. The book leads the reader through a well thought out path that separates a person's value, based on experience and skills, and the position's value range. The author's give several suggestions that can help determine personal and position value including reference books that focus on salaries, Internet addresses, companies that compile salary information, and other tactics that can be useful for this type of research. In addition, the book has a useful worksheet that can assist the reader in determining his/her value range based on the research conducted. The authors conclude this section by stating, "One of the best ways to kill your financial future is by being both unprepared and unrealistic about your future salary when asked about your `salary requirements' or `salary expectations'" (Krannich, 73).
In chapter eight the reader is finally ready to read about the negotiation process. The part of the book that is focused on the actual negotiation is relatively small because so much of the process is based on the person's value determination. Once the reader has identified his/her value, the actual negotiation process is relatively easy. The authors give several negotiating techniques and examples that are helpful to people interested in negotiating with a new employer as well as someone who is interested in negotiating a higher salary in his/her current job. In addition, the authors make several suggestions regarding how to handle salary objections from a potential employer, such as "your figure is not in our budget" or "others with similar qualifications and experience don't make that much in our organization" or "your salary history doesn't really justify such a large salary increase" (Krannich, 145). The open discussion of this topic is extremely helpful for people who are interested in learning how to negotiate a better salary.
Throughout the book the authors also discuss compensation packages. These packages, that can include medical care, dental care, childcare, vacation, sick days, etc., are increasingly an important part of salary negotiations. The authors mention the importance of valuing both salary plus benefits when comparing different employer compensation packages. In addition, the book discusses ways of negotiating more benefits to balance a less than expected salary for a specific position.
Fewer than 200 pages, Dynamite Salary Negotiations is an excellent manual to prepare people for one of the most difficult yet incredibly important phases of accepting a new job. The authors successfully present the material in an easy to read format that can be useful to anyone who will be negotiating a salary. Moreover, the use of bullet points, lists, formulas, and worksheets create a more interesting reading experience than the use of prose only.