Earn What You’re Worth: How to Negotiate Your Salary During the Hiring ProcessAugust 10, 2020
Updated April 26, 2022
If you just got that job offer you’ve always wanted – congratulations! That’s great news, but there is still more to do. Now, you enter the salary negotiation process. You want to be paid what you deserve, and you’re going to have to do a little work to ensure that you are. While there is no secret formula for the perfect salary negotiation, there are many ways to make your salary negotiation more successful. Here are 8 tips on how to walk out of a salary negotiation with the salary you want.
Take Your Time
The first thing you should do after you receive a job offer is to request time to consider the offer. On the most basic level, this allows you time to decide whether to take the job, but it also provides you with time to develop a negotiation strategy based on the offer. Now is the time to think about things like the minimum salary you are willing to accept or possible benefits you would like. Keep these things in mind constantly throughout the negotiation process.
Know Your Value
The second step in getting the salary you deserve is knowing what you are worth to an employer. Take into consideration all of your experience, your location, your skills, certifications, and leadership experience. All are important in calculating how much you should be making. List out all these factors that make you valuable to an employer, and make sure that you will be able to clearly explain each of these factors to your potential employer.
Do Your Research
Before starting salary negotiations, it’s important to be prepared. You should look at the national average salary for your position, as well as what similar companies in your area pay those in your prospective position. Not only will you be prepared to make a good offer, but you will also look knowledgeable about the industry.
Explain Your Value
Now that you’ve done the research and listed what you bring to the table, it is important to use this information in salary negotiations. Clearly explain and justify the salary you are asking for.
Another tip is to ask for slightly more than you expect. That way, if your employer negotiates down, you are still more likely to get a salary you are comfortable with. If they don’t negotiate down, then you’ll get more than you expected. It’s a win either way.
When you’re trying to sell a prospective employer on yourself, confidence is key. Confidence can fill any holes in experience or top off an already perfect applicant. It should be clear to both you and your employer that you know how much you are worth. After all, you have done the research and the preparation, and you will bring your value to your prospective employer. If that’s not worth being confident in, then few other things are.
While it may seem like a given, it’s worth noting that being likable will get you a long way. Your prospective employer will be far more willing to give you what you ask if you make your case in a likable way. On the flip side, being harsh and confrontational could jeopardize your job offer altogether.
Consider Alternate Forms of Compensation
There’s more to compensation than just money, so it’s important to be open to other forms of compensation as well. This is where you bring in the other possible benefits you thought of. You may be able to negotiate for extra vacation days, better stock options, work from home days or any number of other benefits. They may come at the cost of a little pay, but in the long run, they may also make you happier.
Also, consider what you stand to learn. Especially early in your career, it may be worth taking a lower salary to work somewhere where you will be learning new, valuable skills regularly. Overall, the things you learn could prove to be more important than money. Of course, the decision of when to accept less compensation is completely up to you, and you should not be pressured into taking a low offer if you don’t truly feel that it would benefit you.
If You Have to, Walk Away
If your negotiations have hit a dead end and you are unable to negotiate an offer that you find suitable, then consider walking away. You should not start a job where you feel that you are not being fairly compensated. Your prospective employer will thank you for it. A disgruntled employee right off the bat is something no company wants. If you do walk away, remember to be gracious about it. As much time as you have spent negotiating, the prospective employer has spent just as much of their own time trying to hire you.
Remember, don’t consider this failed negotiation as a waste of time. These things happen, and it will provide you with more experience for future salary negotiations, a recurring part of any career.
The Bottom Line
Salary negotiations can be stressful, but if you do your research, you should have no trouble acing them. Hopefully, you will come out with the salary you are looking for.
With your new job, you may want to consider paying down your student debt, and a great way to do that is through student loan refinancing. Take a look at our student loan refinancing guide.
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