5 Rules to Negotiating Your Salary

Landing a new job is exciting. Discussing the salary, however, is stressful and can feel awkward. However, if you want to earn the compensation you deserve, knowing how to negotiate is key. Here are 5 rules for getting the salary you want.

How Can You Negotiate Your Salary?

Rule #1: Know your numbers.

When you have to negotiate, doing your research ahead of time is critical. Make sure you know what someone with your experience and skill level is worth in your location. If you have any specialized skills or abilities, take these into account too when you’re negotiating. If you know people that work at the company, reach out and ask them about compensation. Don’t, however, simply throw out a number you want without it being grounded in facts and reality.

Rule #2: Be collaborative.

Don’t walk into the negotiations ready to get aggressive, or on the other hand, agree to everything your new employer wants. Instead, look at the negotiations as a conversation and collaboration, not a battle. You and the company should be working together to achieve an agreement you’re both satisfied with.

Rule #3: Understand and highlight your value.

Another part of successful negotiations involves talking about the value you bring to the employer. The employer wants to improve revenues, gain more clients, increase margins, and more. How can you help them achieve these goals? When you can showcase your value in a tangible way, you can make a strong case for a higher salary. You can also negotiate bonuses based on goals achieved.

Rule #4: Look at the whole picture.

For instance, if your employer can’t offer more money but can provide an extra week of vacation or better health insurance or retirement benefits, these are worth considering. Make sure you don’t automatically turn down an offer that isn’t the number you want without looking at the benefits – and big picture too. Where there’s flexibility and room, try to meet in the middle.

Rule #5: Use the right language.

Negotiating is a delicate balance, one that requires tactful language. If, for instance, the employer offers you a lower number than you want, don’t balk. Instead, say something like, “Is that flexible?” or “I’d actually be more comfortable with…” Don’t say things like “I need” or “I want,” which can come off as too pushy and aggressive.

Whether the negotiations go your way or not, make sure you thank the recruiter or hiring manager at the end of the process. This showcases that you’re a professional, leaving behind a positive impression.

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