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Happy job candidate shaking hands after successful salary negotiation

How to Successfully Negotiate Your Salary

Posted On05/02/2019

ContributorBrandon Eiges

Congratulations!

You finally got an offer on that amazing new job, or you’re going in for a raise that you have worked so hard for…

…either way, it’s time to celebrate, because, odds are, you are about to experience a pay raise and an overall improvement in your quality-of-life.

Now comes the fun part – if, that is, you have a competitive nature: it’s time to negotiate your salary.

If you’re not competitive or have had little experience with this, salary negotiations can be an intimidating task. That’s why we’ve compiled a few tips to help you showcase your worth and be rewarded accordingly.

Research, Research, Research

Before you begin your negotiation, you should be very clear on the answers to the following questions:

  1. What is the market value for someone in your similar position?
  2. Do you believe that you are also worth that much to your current/perspective company?

When going into a salary negotiation, doing your research is arguably the ultimate key between success and failure. There are plenty of places to begin your research – websites like Glassdoor, Salary.com, and even LinkedIn compile salary information from people in your position and in your location, so you can get a good idea of what others are being paid. This will allow you to benchmark your own expectations against your peers in similar roles and with similar experience.

Once you have a good benchmark, ask yourself:

What is the number you want?

What is the value of your role?

What is the minimum/maximum number you are willing to settle on?

Having the knowledge and reasoning behind your desired base and counter salary will be an important factor in getting what you believe you deserve.

Practice Makes Perfect

Doing any job well takes practice – including negotiating!

Salary negotiations can be high pressure situations, so going in “cold” can mean leaving money on the table. Find a friend, a peer, a recruiter, or someone who has experience with negotiating to role play with you.

Even though your negotiations may not go according to the script you’ve practiced, knowing what you can say or do in multiple different scenarios before they happen will mean that you stay cool, calm, and collected.

Know Yourself, Know Your Worth

No, this is not the Drake lyric.

While similar to our advice to “Research, Research, Research,” knowing yourself and your worth is more about the internal aspect of your salary negotiation.

If you feel that your impact could be instrumental to a company’s success, then make sure that you convey that confidence when you enter the negotiation.

Know what your skill set is.

Know the steps you had to take in your career to be able to be in this position.

Know they ways in which you’ve already impacted your company (if you’re going in for a raise) or can impact the company (if you’re negotiating a job offer). Know these things – and then make sure that the person on the other side of the table knows them too.

It can be difficult to acknowledge your own worth publicly, because we’re often taught not to toot our own horns; however, now is your time to shine, so make sure not to hide your light!

Never Apologize

It’s tempting to want to apologize for asking for what you feel you’re worth. Especially in situations where there is a power imbalance, you might be concerned about rocking the boat. What if you ask for “too much,” and they rescind the offer?

Unless you’re entering the negotiations a) without having followed any of the above advice and b) with the grandiose delusion that you will be making $10 million off the bat, it pays to be firm with your ask. If you apologize for asking, you flag to the other party that you don’t actually believe that they will or should pay you what you think you’re worth – and you open the door to a much lower offer right away.

That said, this is a negotiation, so you may have to be flexible in response to the other party’s counter offer. Flexibility is different from apologizing, however: you can accept a compromise without saying you’re sorry for asking for something different. Stay confident in your worth, because you never know if a higher pay rate, better benefits, or a promotion may be down the road.