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published: 19 Mar 2024 in Education

How to negotiate salary? 10 practical tips

Kamila Brzezińska
Kamila Brzezińska

Editor

Whether you're starting a new job, seeking a raise, or getting a promotion, you will face one most the most daunting tasks during your career – negotiating salary. In this article, we will look into some practical guidelines on preparation, application, and negotiation techniques that could aid you in this process.
How to negotiate salary? 10 practical tips

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Why negotiating salary is an important skill?

When we are young, we are often taught that talking about money is a difficult subject. At times, it might seem almost like a taboo. Our parents don’t include us in their family budget talks, and schools or universities rarely teach us how to negotiate salaries or leverage our skills to potential employers.

We often enter the job market with our college diplomas and expect that the corresponding job offers and salary will follow. But life is rarely that simple. We don't always get the position or the remuneration we might dream of. What we do get – is no more an no less than what we’ve managed to negotiate with our employer.

Therefore, the significance of salary negotiation cannot be understated. It’s a valuable skill that can significantly impact your financial well-being and career trajectory.

Your salary not only determines your financial stability but can also reflect your value within the organization. Negotiating a competitive salary sets the foundation for future earnings, impacts your overall satisfaction in the role, and can establish your worth in the industry.


PREPARATION

As usual, good preparation is key to success. Here are some practical tips you should take into consideration before sitting to the negotiating table:

TIP 1: Research Market Rates

Begin by researching the typical salary range for your job post, taking into account your industry and location. You can find invaluable insights into compensation trends by browsing online resources, such as salary surveys and industry reports.

TIP 2: Determine Your Bottom Line

Based on your research and financial needs, set a realistic salary range. It would be helpful to identify the ideal amount that aligns with your desires, as well as the minimum salary you're willing to accept.


APPLICATION

Knowing what salary would prove satisfactory might not be enough, however. You might know you deserve to earn this amount, but that might not be so clear to your employer. Therefore, you have to become your own advocate and convince them that the value you bring to the company is worth the investment.

TIP 3: Assess (and express) your value

Consider how your unique qualifications contribute to the organization's success and justify your desired salary. Evaluate your:

  • skills
  • education
  • experience
  • and accomplishments.

Once you have that ready, prepare a compelling narrative that showcases how those qualities can produce tangible results. Focus on the impact you can make in the role. What is more, try to show how your expertise can address the employer's needs, solve problems, and add value to the organization.

TIP 4: Practice your pitch

Just like a baseball pitcher must practice his pitching skills, so should you. Now that you have named all the reasons you should earn the desired salary, practice delivering your mini-speech. You can do it by delivering the speech to your friends, or on your own. It could even be useful to record yourself on your phone – this way you might pinpoint the areas that might still need some improvement. Practice your pitch until it feels natural and confident.

TIP 5: Manage objections

Even if you’ve got your pitch perfect, it might be helpful to try to anticipate potential objections and prepare persuasive responses to address them.


SALARY NEGOTIATION

Below are a few simple negotiating techniques you should keep in mind when trying to get a raise:

TIP 6: Start from the higher range

Begin the negotiation by stating a salary range slightly higher than your target. This establishes a favorable starting point – and allows room for concessions.

TIP 7: Make silence your ally

After stating your desired salary or counteroffer, resist the urge to immediately fill the silence. Give the employer time to respond, as silence can be a powerful negotiation tool.

TIP 8: Consider the non-salary factors

If the employer is unable to meet our salary expectations, it’s worth remembering that there are other avenues for negotiation. Consider benefits, bonuses, stock options, flexible work arrangements, or even professional development opportunities. They might not immediately improve your account balance, but they still can prove to be an alternative form of compensation.

TIP 9: Keep it professional

And lastly, remember, even though it might seem that you and your employer have different end goals – you wish for a bigger paycheck, while your company thinks of the operational cost – at the end of the day, you both want to have a good working relationship. Therefore, approach the negotiation process with a collaborative mindset and try to stay respectful, and professional throughout the discussion, focusing on finding a mutually beneficial solution.

TIP 10: But know when to walk away

Accepting a subpar offer could undervalue your skills and compromise your long-term financial goals. If the employer is unwilling to meet your minimum salary requirements or negotiate further, be prepared to walk away gracefully and, preferably, into the sunset.


Sources:

Harvard Law School – Salary Negotiation, Free Report

Harvard Business Review – “15 Rules for Negotiating a Job Offer”

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