Your income is your biggest wealth building tool that you have. With it, you direct how funds are being spent, saved, and invested. It is crucial to know how to effectively negotiate your salary so that you are adequately compensated for the job responsibilities you are undertaking.  Being a good negotiator will allow you to not be taken advantage of by employers and allow you to be confident to ask for the compensation you are worth. Having this skill will enable you to make wise decisions about your career path and whether an opportunity is worth pursuing.

Here are some tips when you are negotiating compensation for a new job:

Understand the position you are applying for. Be sure to understand what the position is requiring of you and what you are responsible for. Do you have direct reports that you have to manage and coach? Are you in charge of managing a budget or hitting sales targets? Does the position require additional responsibilities and or decision-making power? Understanding the scope of the position will allow you better information to target the salary you are asking for.

Be mindful of your strengths and differentiators. Being self-aware of what you uniquely offer to the position and the company is a great way to demonstrate that you are worth the amount you are negotiating. Think of what you can offer that other candidates would not. Do you have exceptional people skills that would be beneficial to working with other departments? Do you speak a second or third language? Do you have special training or certification that sets you apart? Make sure you are pointing these skills and abilities out when you are going through the negotiation process.

Know what you are worth in the market. You have to do your research knowing what similar positions out in the marketplace are paying. How do you do this? You can speak to industry-specific recruiters that can help you determine the market rate. You can also go online to resources like Glassdoor where you can obtain salary information that has been collected from employees from various companies. Having this knowledge will arm you with the correct information you need when negotiating salary.

Consider other parts of the compensation outside of salary. When you are negotiating with a new company for a new position, you need to consider the entire compensation package. The company making the offer may offer a lower salary but cover your health care premiums completely. You need to weigh what parts of the package you are willing to accept and what parts you need to further discuss.

Have a walkaway number in your mind. You need to have a salary number in your head that at some point, you will walk away if the prospective employer doesn’t not meet your bottom line. You owe it to yourself to not short yourself or your worth to the organization. Otherwise, you will be resentful, and it will end up not being a good fit. At that point, it’s better to move on to other options.