Tips To Consider When Negotiating Salary

There comes a time in our career when we are asked: “what are your salary expectations?” Your answer can be a slippery slope – ask for a number too low and you might be settling for less than you could make, ask for a number too high and you risk not getting the job or promotion. Negotiating your salary can be an awkward conversation, but it is something everyone knows they should do.

According to a survey, only 37 percent of people always negotiate their salaries while 18 percent never do. Further, in performance reviews, 44 percent of people never asked for a raise. The common thread in all these? People are afraid of rejection and asking for more.

While this can certainly be an awkward conversation, the quote “If you don’t ask, the answer is always no,” rings true. To make these discussions easier, The Muse rounded up expert tips to help you prepare for your next (or first) salary negotiation. These tips are broken down into four categories: Getting Prepped, Starting the Conversation, Making the Ask and Getting an Answer. For the sake of brevity, we will highlight a few tips from each. To check out all 37 tips, read the full article here.

Getting Prepped

Know Your Value

In order to negotiate a reasonable salary, you must do some research to understand your value in the marketplace. Similar to preparing for an interview, you must prepare for a salary negotiation as well. This means researching similar opportunities to yours, or the position you’re interviewing for, to figure out a “number.” There are resources available such as Glassdoor that can show what you are “worth” in the marketplace based on your experience and educational background.

Know The (Exact) Number

Researches at Columbia Business School found that instead of asking for a salary range, you should ask for a very specific number. The reasoning is that when employees use a precise number, they are more likely to get an offer closer to it because employers assume that they have done extensive research into their market value.

Starting the Conversation

Show What You Can Do

Kathleen O’Malley of Babble recommends preparing a “brag sheet” in advance of your meeting. This is your time to highlight everything you have done for the company, so list any accomplishments, awards, etc. If your role deals with analytics, summarize them to show how your work has (hopefully) benefitted the company since you’ve been in the role.

It is one thing to tell a decision maker what you’ve done for the company, but you should take it a step further and show them. This can be done through a “brag sheet.”

Making The Ask

Ask For More Than What You Want

A common method used in salary negotiation is asking for $5,000 more than what you actually looking to accept. According to the article, “Psychology shows that your bargaining partner will feel like he or she is getting a better deal if he or she negotiates down from your original ask.” In doing so, you are more likely to be offered what you wanted.

Don’t Fear The “No”

People are afraid of rejection whether it is in the dating world or when it comes to their career. According to negotiation consultant Victoria Pynchon, a negotiation doesn’t actually start until someone says “no.” She says, “Negotiation is a conversation whose goal is to reach an agreement with someone whose interests are not perfectly aligned with yours.”

If you ask for a raise in salary, hearing “no” is part of the process. Although easier said than done, it is important to realize that this is not a statement on your work performance, rather it is a starting point for future negotiations.

Getting An Answer

Don’t Be Afraid To Counter

A negotiation is a conversation that usually spans more than just a couple of sentences. If you ask for a raise and the employer says no, the conversation isn’t over. Just as your employer is likely to come back with a counteroffer, you too can counter. When it comes down to it, a negotiation is usually a series of counters until a common number is reached.

Consider Options

If your employer isn’t willing to give you a raise, try negotiating for other workplace perks. These include remote working, revised title, increased vacation time, etc.

Keep Negotiating

With each new career opportunity, negotiating will likely happen. As with most things, the more you do it, the more comfortable and better you become at it. The negotiation experience and tactics you develop throughout your career can also influence other aspects of your life where negotiation takes place. For example, when buying a house or new car, you are likely going to negotiate a price with the seller.

For the complete list of negotiation tips from The Muse, check out the full article here.

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