If you’ve never quite learned how to negotiate a salary, the whole process can seem quite challenging. Whether you’re just applying for a new job or asking for a raise, negotiating your salary can feel very intimidating.
Maybe you’re afraid of starting your new job on the wrong foot or just angering your management, but whatever the reasons may be, you need to keep in mind that asking to negotiate your salary is completely normal and way less intimidating than you might think.
Employers are ready for this, and if you feel like your work deserves better compensation, we are here to help you prove your worth.
In this detailed guide, we’ve collected many tips for how to negotiate your salary like a pro, so let’s dive in.
- Negotiating your salary is completely normal, and it’s an important aspect of your employment process and career growth.
- Whether you’re looking for a career developing option or you just feel like you deserve more, negotiating your salary is always recommended so you don’t miss out on better offers.
- To negotiate your salary successfully, you should do some research, determine the right number for you, identify why you should get a raise, and choose the right moment.
Why Should You Negotiate Your Salary?
Negotiating your salary is an important step to take if you want to advance in your career. Your salary is not only a number you get after the job is done; it’s a way for employers to show that they value you and the work you do.
You should negotiate your salary because:
- You might get offered way less than you expected
- You need a salary increase if you want to advance in your career
- They’re expecting you to negotiate
- It’s less risky than you think and you will not lose the job if you ask
- You could be earning more if you just ask
How to Negotiate Salary Step 1: Do the Research
The first step you need to take to negotiate your salary properly is to know what you’re worth. To do that, you need to do some solid research.
Research Salary Trends
Before you begin negotiating your salary, you need to enter the room with as much information as possible. The number one thing you need to research is salary trends. This way, you will know what to expect and what you deserve.
To check the latest salary trends, you can head over to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. It is one of the most comprehensive salary sources you can find, and it’s all based on surveys conducted in many fields all around the country.
Get in Touch With Recruiters
Another great way to do research is by getting in touch with recruiters. They are the best people to talk to, as they know exactly what people like you get paid.
If you get in touch with a recruiter, start by asking what a day at the company looks like and gradually shift the conversation towards the average salary. Usually, you will not get an exact number, but a range is also a great way to get started.
Ask Your Network
If you know people around you who work in the same industry, you can ask them for help determining the amount you should ask for during the negotiation.
Ask your network for advice on how to negotiate your salary as well. As some of them have been a part of the industry for longer, they can give you some solid advice on how to nail the whole process.
Hold The Meeting On a Friday
Studies have shown that people are more likely to get a raise on Fridays since they are excited about the weekend and in a good mood.
Opt for holding the meeting somewhere between morning and mid-day. You want to ask for a raise during peak mood instead of at the end of the day, when people are exhausted.
How to Negotiate Salary Step 2: Determine The Right Number
Now that you have an idea of how to do proper research, the next thing you need to do is figure out what the right number is for you.
Here’s how you can do that:
Pick The Top Range
While researching salary trends, you’ll most likely come across a salary range for the specific industry. Our advice is to always go for the high end of the range.
That is because of two main reasons:
- You’re worthy of being paid top dollar.
- The interviewer will definitely offer the lower range, so you need to ask for a higher amount in order to reach the middle ground.
Factor in The Benefits
Before you get a chance to mention what number you want to negotiate, it’s important to talk about what you’ve brought to the company (if you’re requesting a raise) or what you can bring to the company (if you’re a new employer).
If you’re wondering how to negotiate a salary increase with your manager, start by talking about what you’ve accomplished throughout your career. Keep a sheet of what you’ve achieved so far and give a copy to the supervisor as well.
Additionally, talk about what you look forward to doing if you continue to work for the establishment. This is a great way to show your worth and why you deserve a raise.
Make it an Exact Number
It’s recommended to mention an exact number when negotiating your salary.
For example, instead of saying that you’d like your salary to be around $85,000 annually, say $85,600 instead, as the employers might assume you’ve thoroughly researched the market to come up with this number.
How to Negotiate Salary Step 3: Identify Reasoning
The next step is identifying why the employer should give you a salary increase. To do so, you need to build a case.
You can build a case by:
- Explaining what you’ve achieved in the company. If you’re negotiating a raise, try to list all of your accomplishments and why you think your work so far needs to be reworded. Make a list of everything you’ve done that has benefited the company ever since you started working and mention some ideas that could benefit the company in the future.
- Explaining what the current market trends are. When discussing your salary expectations, show the recruiter that you’ve done detailed research on the salary range of this specific industry.
How to Negotiate Salary Step 4: Practice
When you are faced with such a difficult task as negotiating your salary, the saying “practice makes perfect” more than applies, and it can go a long way in reducing anxiety and making you more confident.
To practice properly, you can:
- Prepare the points of discussion. Make a list of how you want to start the discussion and what you’ll be talking about next.
- Prepare the numbers. Have a specific and set number in mind before you start negotiating your salary, so you don’t show up unprepared.
- Work on the delivery. Practice what you want to say in a mirror or even ask a friend to hear you out until you’re ready to have the real conversation.
- Decide on a communication method. Although you can discuss this matter through emails, it’s always recommended to hold this conversation face-to-face.
How to Negotiate Salary Step 5: Find The Right Time
The right timing is everything. Don’t wait for that annual performance review to negotiate your salary, as HR has more than likely already decided who gets a raise.
Instead, try to ask for a negotiation:
- Around 3 months prior to the performance review, since that’s most likely when they’re deciding on where the budget will be divided across the company.
- When both you and the supervisor are in a good mood.
Try to avoid having this conversation with your supervisor when:
- The company is currently firing and laying off other employees
- The supervisor or manager is going through a tough time
- The company is not doing well financially
How to Negotiate Salary Step 6: Salary Negotiation Meeting
Once you’ve set up the meeting, here are some tips on how to negotiate your salary:
Be Confident, But Not Pushy
Negotiating your salary can be delicate, so it’s important to remain confident throughout the whole process. Make sure to list what you’ve achieved so far and why you deserve a higher salary. It’s essential to be confident when delivering this information.
However, you should never be pushy. Although it’s okay to keep negotiating your salary, once it’s clear that it’s impossible for them to offer you a better range, don’t press them any further.
Explain Your Reasoning
The number one thing that will guide you through the negotiation is a good, solid reason.
This will mostly depend on your own needs and can be anything, such as:
- You live too far away
- You’ve researched the current market
- Your family is growing and you could use the additional support
- There has been a rampant inflation
- You’ve gained enough experience for a raise
Ask For a Higher Number
A general rule of thumb is to always ask for a higher amount than what you’re actually interested in.
It’s always better to ask for a higher number since the worst that could happen is that you get a lower counter offer. So, it’s better to take that risk!
Understand Their Side
Once you prepare to negotiate your salary, it’s always important to think of the other person’s situation and perspective as well. Try to do some prior research on what the person’s interests are and what their position in the company is, so you can relate to them a bit easier during the conversation. This is also a great way to find a middle ground that will work for both parties.
Additionally, pay close attention to what the employer is saying while you’re negotiating. This way, you’ll understand their needs and requests as well.
Remain Professional & Positive
It’s important to remain positive and professional during the negotiation process. It makes a better impression on employers, and they’ll take your request more seriously this way.
To do so, you can say something along the lines of:
I am quite excited to start my journey with you here, and I believe that my skills and accomplishments will benefit the company. I also appreciate your offer of $50,000; however, based on my experience and the current market value, I’ve been looking for something in the $70,000 range. Can we discuss this amount?
Prepare For Resistance & Rejection
Although it’s hard to admit, rejection is more than likely to happen.
Negotiating your salary means coming to a mutual agreement with your employer. And to do so, you’ll definitely hear a “no” at some point. Resistance is part of the negotiation process, so you need to be prepared to continue the conversation without sounding too pushy.
Get It In Writing
Nothing is more reassuring than asking for written proof of the agreement. Once you’re done negotiating and you’ve come to a mutual agreement, ask for a document that lists the following:
- Your name
- Job title
- Job description
- Salary amount
- Additional bonuses
Besides that, make sure that the document is signed by your employers for additional reassurance.
When you try to negotiate your salary, it’s important to mention the current market trends and your skills and accomplishments. However, it’s never okay to inflate any of them.
A quick background check will allow employers to find out whether you’ve told the truth or not, and that is never a good look.
Negotiating your salary can become tricky if you don’t prepare beforehand, so before entering the meeting room, reaffirm the amount you’d like to be paid and stick with it.
Avoid mentioning a range, as employers will usually agree to the lower end of it. Instead, mention a higher salary than what you’re looking for so that when they lower it, you’ll still be close to the sum you initially wanted.
Mention why you deserve the raise by showcasing your skills and accomplishments, and don’t be scared to ask for what you think you’re worth. You could be making a lot more money if you just gave it a try.