How to successfully negotiate your salary

If even the headline of this article makes you wince, then you know you’re in the right place

Negotiating salary when starting a new position or asking your boss for a pay rise is rarely a conversation to look forward to. Money is always a sensitive subject whoever you’re talking to, so make sure that you’re approaching the conversation with these tips in mind.

 

Research your industry

Before you jump straight into salary negotiations, do your research to understand how your experience matches up to other companies, and even colleagues. Indeed.com, Payscale.com, and Glassdoor.com are great guides to see what you could be getting for your skill set elsewhere. Understanding how rates differ will allow you to enter negotiations confidently, so know that you’ll be pitching an offer that’s respectful to both you and your employer. Mentioning that you’ve researched what different companies offer will also demonstrate that you’re proactive, while supporting how you arrived at your proposed figure.

 

Show your worth

If you only take one point away from this article, make sure it’s this one. The top and bottom of it is that you'll only receive the salary you desire if you’re worth it — and you can prove this worth. So when you propose your expectation, make sure it’s supported by the multiple reasons why you deserve that figure. Never submit a proposal without sufficient evidence.

 

Prepare your pitch 

Going in with a clear head and understanding exactly what you want to say will help you appear organised and confident. Jot down any points that you want to make, and rehearse your pitch a few times, or at least until you're comfortable. Think ahead about any tough questions that your employer may ask, as there’s a reasonable chance that a few will come your way. 

 

See the whole package

Remember that negotiating pay is not the same as negotiating a job offer. Your new company or role may allow you to enjoy other perks, such as flexible working, working from home benefits, or above average paid annual leave. Of course, we all want more money, but there are a lot of additional factors that can influence whether you’re happy in a role or not. For example, does the company have an inclusive environment, and will you have a reasonable commute time? 

 

Enjoy the silence

Being comfortable with silence is definitely a skill that can be hard to refine, but in this particular situation, it can be really handy. Research from MIT’s Sloan School of Management shares that when both parties take a few moments to let the silence resonate, both sides are more likely to reach a beneficial agreement. So, if the conversation falls to a deadly quiet, take a few seconds to stop, think, and wait, before quickly replying to fill the silence.

 

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