It’s a natural progression of any job: your salary or hourly wage should increase over time. Employers hardly ever make their best offer first, and candidates who negotiate their salary generally earn more than those who don’t. We all know that negotiating a higher salary can be difficult, challenging and even overwhelming. You can’t just blurt out a number and expect your future employer to agree with you. Fear of having the job offer rescinded doesn’t help, either. What you need is a strategy and the right mindset.
- Research the market
Before you even begin salary negotiations with a prospective employer, you need to find out how much the job is worth – and how much your skills and experience are worth to the employer. Take the time to research salaries long before you even begin discussing pay. If you’re going to get the pay you deserve, it’s crucial to know the going rate for your position in your specific industry and in your geographic area. You can do this by doing an online search on sites such or by asking others in your field. If you don’t want to ask directly, give them an estimate of the job offer, then ask if it’s in-line with industry standards for someone with your experience. Find sources that tell you what companies pay for the job you’re considering. The sources should take into account the size of the company you work for and its industry and region.
- Show what you’ve accomplished
If you are already in a job and trying to secure a pay rise, you need to go in well prepared. Your boss is certain to question why you think you’re worth the extra money, so be ready to argue your case clearly and persuasively using specific examples to prove your worth. You may need to remind your boss of everything that you bring to the table. If you’ve just had a great performance review, it will be very easy to segue into this topic. Remember that your interpersonal skills and organizational skills are just as important as your technical skills, too. As you go through the interviewing and negotiating process, remind the employer how they will benefit from your skills and experience. You’ll need to give the employer a reason to say yes to a higher salary. In your back pocket, have a few accomplishments and ideas you plan to bring in that will support providing you a higher salary.
- Pick a range rather than a specific number
If possible, try to get the employer to disclose the pay for the job before you tell your requirements. If you find this too difficult or awkward, consider providing a broad range. As you’re doing your research, you’ll likely come up with a range that represents your market value. It can be tempting to ask for something in the middle of the range, but instead you should ask for something toward the top. Your experience plays a big role in the negotiation process, too. If you’re new to the workforce or the job itself, you will definitely earn less than someone doing the job for years.
If the employer can’t offer you the salary you want, think about other valuable options that might not cost as much. You can look at negotiating holiday, travel allowance, private healthcare, free gym membership, flexible working options, ask for yearly salary reviews or negotiate a sign-on or performance bonus. Don’t solely consider salary: take into account other considerations, such as benefits, working hours, work culture, the job itself and room for career development. If the salary is not what you expected and is not compensated by additional benefits, you can search for personal and career development workshops and convince your bosses the benefit of going and ask them to pay for the workshop and travel expenses.
Ideally, you’ll be able to agree on a higher salary or better package than you were offered. If you accept the new terms, let the employer know you’re looking forward to getting to work, then follow up to ensure all details are in place. It’s better to have everything written down on paper instead of relying solely on what you’ve agreed during the meeting. This will ensure you and your employers are on the same page.