How to Negotiate Salary

Negotiating a salary for a new job might be one of the most stressful things to do and yet, it is one thing you can never avoid especially if you are constantly advancing in your career. If you are planning to interview for a new job or negotiate a raise, this article will help you learn how to negotiate salary.

Basically, negotiating salary can feel extremely personal and risky sometimes. but if you’re looking to constantly increase your professional income, then this is a skill you need to master.

Continue to read to learn how to negotiate salary the right way.

How to Negotiate Salary

Salary Negotiation

Negotiation is simply a dialogue that aims at reaching an agreement. To negotiate, you must have first decided what you want and what you are willing to give up. 

Salary negotiation is important, especially for your career advancement and progression. In the job market, most employees move to new roles either in the same company or another. Either way, salary negotiation gets involved and if you do not master the art of salary negotiation, you may end up short-changing yourself.

According to The Conference Board, wages are rising in the US and the average salary increase rose from 1.26% in April to 3% in November 2021. The report reveals that wages are expected to grow by an average of 3.9% in 2022 – so, why wouldn’t you want to master this art so you can negotiate for what you are worth, what you want, and what you are giving up?

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Why You Should Negotiate Your Salary

Generally, the idea of salary negotiating a job offer and your pay may feel extremely uncomfortable sometimes, however, there’s no running away from this. If not, this may end up negatively affecting your lifelong earning potential. 

For instance, if an employee whose starting salary should align with the US’s annual salary increase of 3% starts at 10% below their expectations, it could take them more than two years to regain the lost earnings.

While salary negotiation may feel uncomfortable, it may interest you to know that most employers expect potential employees to negotiate their salaries and benefits.

According to this survey, 70% of managers expect candidates to negotiate their salaries as well as their benefits.

This, when done right, has the ability to set their lifetime earning potential on the right and perfect trajectory.

When You Should Negotiate Your Salary

While most employers want you to negotiate your salary before you have received the new job or role offer, this is more to their advantage as experts recommend negotiating after you have received an offer.

This is because you will have more leverage to negotiate after you have proven that you are the best candidate for the job or new role.

During negotiating, it is crucial to only counter the offer once or twice at most and avoid revisiting the compensation package you have already agreed upon.

If your initial offer was made on the phone, it will be okay to ask you to be allowed some time to process the information and then ask if you could take some time to review and get back to them within a St time frame.

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Generally, negotiations are better on the phone as this gives room for less miscommunication. Also, it is appropriate to email your negotiation requests especially if that feels more comfortable for you.

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How to Negotiate Salary

Not everyone was born a great negotiator and for that, most candidates tend to do just a little or nothing when it comes to negotiating for a higher salary.

Generally, one of the first and most important rules of salary negotiations is to never settle for the first salary amount put on the table.  There are more tips to help you negotiate better.

We have carefully researched and put together this guide on how to negotiate a salary that works. Let’s get right in!

1. Research your industry

That a salary offer feels just enough to cover your expenses doesn’t mean that it is the market average. When you’re going for a new position, it is important you do your market research and understand what the role is worth before going to interview and negotiate for an offer and pay.

There are tons of tools to help you to understand the overview of all major sectors in the various job markets, the key roles involved as well as their salary estimates.

This will help you to understand what is involved and as will, help you to calculate and determine what your average salary would be based on factors such as:

  • Sector
  • Location
  • Work experience

An alternative will be to talk to people in the know such as people who are already in the industry.

2. Evaluate what you have to offer

What is your market value? Basically, your market value comprises how much value you can add to the company.

Figure out how much you are worth in your field as well as with your experience.

Your value is not limited to your position. What added bonuses and skills are you bringing to the table?

Generally, there are several factors that can influence your salary. They include:

  • Geographic location: Consider the cost of living in your area.
  • Years of experience
  • Years of leadership experience
  • Education level or qualifications
  • Career level
  • Skills
  • Licenses and certifications

When you begin your salary negotiation, make sure to reiterate the reasons you will be a valuable employee and ensure to use the aforementioned factors to justify your desired salary.

Also, you could also research what candidates in your position and with your degree and experience, earn. 

3. Be firm, persuasive, and confident

Negotiating your salary requires confidence and persuasiveness. This is because the more self-assurance you exude, the more your opinion is likely to be valued by your employer.

However, you must be careful not to mistake this for arrogance or an inflated perception of your importance.

A salary negotiation must not lead to excessive apologizing or explanations of your proposal as these may be detrimental to your negotiation.

While you are at this, remember that you are offering your company your great values, skills, and experiences and you are only demanding to be paid what you’re worth. For this reason, experts strongly advise against begging your interviewer to up your salary offer during your interview.

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4. What have you accomplished?

Your accomplishments and previous experiences as well as skills are your bargaining power and demonstrating these to your bargaining to prove that you are worth the investment of a higher salary is an important process of salary negotiation.

While you do this, be sure to also demonstrate how your accomplishments can add more value to the company.

5. Practice your delivery

This may sound like a cliche to some job candidates but it helps to practice your delivery before you engage in an interview with your recruiter.

This helps to avoid stuttering and speaking without confidence. You could ask a friend to practice with you by having the conversations you are likely to have with the manager or recruiter.

Practicing can make you feel more sure of yourself and confident in your negotiation as you engage in it.

6. Ignore your previous salary

One of the biggest mistakes job candidates make during salary negotiations is to base their salary negotiations on their last drawn salary.

Generally, using your last salary as a yardstick to how much to negotiate at your new job does not always turn out fine.

Also, although some job descriptions will require that candidates submit their previous salaries, experts recommend ignoring or preserving the discussion for the interview itself.

Even better, you could ask to first find out more about the new position and responsibilities, what the team is like as well as the company culture, before you can discuss salary. 

However, if the salary has already been mentioned and it is way lower than you expected, ask if it can be adjusted. If the company has a fixed budget that is inflexible, you may decline the job offer and interview and move on to another.

However, if this is not something you can do, then an alternative will be to find out what the KPIs to achieve within the next six months are and if your salary can be reviewed in the months ahead.

7. Go for the top of the range

This works all the time – offering your employer a salary range that is greater than your target.

Aim high so you can have enough room to compromise without falling short of your original target.

8. Be ready to answer some difficult questions

One of the worst things that can happen to a job candidate is to go for a job interview unprepared. This doesn’t just entail preparing the basic questions but also for the unexpected and difficult questions.

Typically, recruiters are used to negotiating. In fact, negotiating has become a part of their lives and while they expect you, they will be ready to ask you some tough questions.

This is where most job candidates are shaken and lose it all either by short-changing themselves or by not meeting the recruiter’s expectations entirely.

What to do?  Do not be shaken by the queries and try as much to be honest and confident in your answers. 

9. Know when to wrap it up

Typically, a brilliant employer or recruiter won’t withdraw a job offer simply because a job candidate tried to negotiate. 

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However, dragging the negotiation through and through can frustrate them and this can cause your relationship to start out on a site note.

If the company is unable to meet your salary requirements after a few discussions and negotiations, it is important to respectfully as well as politely withdraw and focus on opportunities that best match your compensation expectations or you resolve to look elsewhere.

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10. Get everything in writing

Once you have arrived at an agreement or have settled on a salary and compensation package, ask for written documentation.

Also, ensure the document is signed by both parties: you and the employer. 

11. Don’t be scared to walk away

It is important to know not to be scared to reject the offer and walk away if the need be. 

A company may not be able to meet your salary expectations or may after a salary negotiation increases your salary but still not meet your expectations.

You must decide in this case whether you would like to stay or not.

Conclusion

At the end of the fat, there are guarantees in salary negotiations. However, if you do not attempt to negotiate your salary, you may be setting yourself up for low earnings and discomfort at your job and career in the long run.

So, to begin, do your research, get into a negotiation with all the confidence you can muster, and take the conversation from there.

We wish you all the best!

FAQs How to Negotiate Salary

What are tips for negotiating salary?

Here are 11 tips for how to negotiate a salary that can help you confidently ask for want you want:

Research your industry
Evaluate what you have to offer
Be firm, persuasive, and confident
What have you accomplished?
Practice your delivery
Ignore your previous salary
Go for the top of the range
Be ready to answer some difficult questions
Know when to wrap it up
Get everything in writing
Don’t be scared to walk away

How do you politely ask to negotiate salary?

Negotiating your salary requires confidence and persuasiveness. This is because the more self-assurance you exude, the more your opinion is likely to be valued by your employer.

However, you must be careful not to mistake this for arrogance or an inflated perception of your importance.

A salary negotiation must not lead to excessive apologizing or explanations of your proposal as these may be detrimental to your negotiation.

Should you accept the first salary offer?

Generally, one of the first and most important rules of salary negotiations is to never settle for the first salary amount put on the table.  There are more tips to help you negotiate better.

Do employers expect you to negotiate?

According to this survey, 70% of managers expect candidates to negotiate their salaries as well as their benefits.

Is it rude to negotiate salary?

While salary negotiation may feel uncomfortable, it may interest you to know that most employers expect potential employees to negotiate their salaries and benefits.

References

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