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Negotiating your salary is definitely not an easy task. Think about this scenario - you have just received a job offer from your dream company and now they are asking about salary expectations, yet you are not sure how to negotiate a salary that meets your expectations while not coming off as too demanding.
You might come across various situations where you need to negotiate your salary, for example, during an interview, upon receiving a job offer, in the middle of a performance review or when a job promotion has been announced.
In this article, there are tips and advice that will hopefully help you negotiate a salary successfully with either your new or current employer. We will also walk you through salary negotiation strategies and tactics and suggestions on what to say when negotiating salary and some examples to consider when it is time to negotiate your pay.
Why You Should Negotiate Salary
There are several benefits that come with starting a salary negotiation with your recruiter or manager. Some of the key benefits of a wage negotiation are discussed below.
✨ Gaining higher income
One of the most obvious benefits that come with negotiating salary is the chance of gaining a higher income. By taking the initiative or participating in a wage negotiation, you get the chance to have either a higher starting salary or a raise, both of which are desirable outcomes. The worst thing your recruiter or manager can say is no to a wage negotiation and you remain with the current level of salary you are receiving - you have got nothing to lose!
✨ Showing that you know your value
Another benefit of starting a salary negotiation with your recruiter or manager is that you are able to not only remind them of your value but also show you understand how much your skills and knowledge are worth and limits the chance of your employer taking advantage of you, such as increasing your workload without giving you a corresponding raise in salary.
✨ Demonstrating your communication skills
By negotiating your salary, you push yourself outside your comfort zone and learn to confront situations that can be tricky. It is likely that the process of negotiating your salary will make you feel uncomfortable, as it can be difficult to find the balance between not coming across as too demanding and asking for what you deserve for your hard work.
However, starting a wage negotiation can also show that you have the skills to engage in a candid and straightforward discussion, as well as demonstrate to your recruiter or manager that you know when to be assertive while remaining professional. This is a skill valued by many employers.
✨ Receiving a complete benefits package
Another benefit of beginning a wage negotiation is the opportunity to receive a more complete benefit package. Other than some extra cash that you would like to get out of a wage negotiation, your company can also show support by providing better career development opportunities, work-life balance, and health-related perks and allowing you more work flexibility.
Some of these can include training and development opportunities and qualifications, healthcare coverage and fitness stipends, and flexibility to work remotely. While the tangible perk of money is important when you negotiate your salary, the compensation that comes in these forms of a benefits package should be considered before you accept a new job offer or re-sign your work contract.
✨ Avoiding future conflicts
If you reach an agreement about your salary through negotiation before you start a job, you are less likely to feel dissatisfied and unappreciated at work, which can lead to conflicts between you and the company.
How to Negotiate Salary
🎯 Understand your value.
Before going into a salary negotiation with your recruiter or manager, it is vital to know what your worth is. There are various factors that can determine how much value you have to offer to your potential or current employer, for example, education level, years of relevant experience, licenses and qualifications and skillset.
Understanding the value you can offer will help your case when you negotiate your salary, as having evidence to back up your wage negotiation will make it more persuasive and more likely to succeed.
🎯 Know the employer’s needs
Similar to understanding what your value is to employers, it is equally important to know their needs before you start a negotiation for your salary.
If you are able to match your experience and skillset to what employers need, you will naturally have more ground to stand on when negotiating your starting salary for a new job or a pay rise. Once you are able to convince your recruiter or manager what you offer meets their needs, your wage negotiation should go smoothly.
🎯 Research the market.
This is crucial data to have at hand when negotiating your salary. Start by researching the market average salary for your specific industry, company and role, and make sure to look at the average salary related to your office’s country and geographic location, as well as competitors’ offerings within the same region.
🎯 Have a specific number in mind.
When starting a negotiation for your salary, another key is to make sure that you have a number in mind, either the exact number or a range. Either will help you to have a clear idea of how much you want to get from the wage negotiation and when you need to stop.
🎯 Choose the right timing.
Picking the right time to start your wage negotiation is another factor to consider before initiating a salary negotiation with your recruiter or manager. Most people seem to prefer waiting until the performance review season, but it is likely by that time any pay raise requests would be decided. Hence, instead, you should inquire about a potential pay raise three to four months earlier, as this is usually the period where companies are looking at allocating budgets.
🎯 Practice with a friend.
As with interviews and presentations, a wage negotiation might be done by a phone call or in person. To prepare for this, make sure to ask a friend to role play with you so that you can better articulate your expectations when the time comes.
Tips on Negotiating Salary
✅ Be confident.
Have you ever seen someone coming through the office door with a frown on their face? It is not very promising nor does it convey professionalism. Make sure to always keep your head high and carry a confident smile on your face.
Leaving an impression that shows you are self-assured, composed and confident will also play a part in persuading your recruiter or manager during a wage negotiation.
✅ Be flexible and consider alternatives.
Fingers crossed that when you start a salary negotiation with your recruiter or manager it will be successful. In the case that it doesn’t, however, stay flexible and be open to alternative offers of benefits rather than a bank deposit.
For instance, this could be a fully-funded training and development opportunity, or an increased healthcare package that covers your healthcare expenses.
✅ Ask for the top of the salary range.
As you are preparing for your salary negotiation with your recruiter or manager, you might end up with a range that represents your market value. Although it can be tempting to ask for a salary that sits towards the middle of the range, it is better to ask for one that is towards the top for the following reasons:
1) you should be confident that you deserve top pay
2) your recruiter or manager will most likely try to negotiate down during a wage negotiation.
Hence, it is important that you have some room for compromise and still end up with a number that meets your expectations.
✅ Prepare open-ended questions to ask.
When negotiating your salary, one of the key steps is to start the conversation with open-ended questions that identify what the current business’ needs are. This will help you understand what support the party you are negotiating salary with is looking for and suggest solutions that can help.
Incorporating such ‘diagnostic questions’ into your wage negotiation will give you the opportunity to recognize the other party’s priorities, demands, concerns and preferences. Experts in this field have said that asking these questions will significantly improve the outcome of your wage negotiation.
✅ Don’t sell yourself short.
This is not the time to be shy about your accomplishments! Be ready to talk about what you have achieved in the past and what you bring in the future during your wage negotiation.
It’s important to make sure you highlight occasions where you have gone beyond your responsibilities and the additional impact you had on the team, and – more importantly – ideas that you are ready to run going forward, for instance, a new project proposal you are ready to lead on or a current project you would love to support and help reduce your manager’s workload.
✅ Prepare to show evidence of your professional achievements.
When starting a salary negotiation with your recruiter or manager, be prepared to showcase your professional achievements. This can perhaps be done with a slides presentation that summarizes your accomplishments, qualifications or awards.
Testimonials from clients and colleagues are also an impactful way to demonstrate your value to your recruiter or manager during your wage negotiation.
Salary Negotiating Email Samples
Below are some email samples that may help you start your wage negotiation.
✉️ Salary Negotiation Email Example
Thank you for sending over the contract renewal for the Assistant Manager position, I am extremely delighted to receive this news.
Before I accept the offer, I would like to address the proposed compensation. As discussed with my line manager, I have more than five years of experience in fashion marketing and have worked in leadership positions for the past two years. I also helped increase the number of marketing-influenced leads by nearly 5% year-on-year and secured a 25% higher annual revenue for the company.
Given my experience and expertise, I am seeking an annual salary in the range of $150,000 to $170,000, which is slightly higher than your offer of $140,000.
I believe I am able to bring a substantial value to Branda & Co. and help you exceed your revenue expectations this year. Please kindly let me know when we can discuss this matter further.
I look forward to hearing from you soon!
✉️ Salary Discussion with HR in an Interview Conversation Example
Thank you for arranging my interview with James last week and sending over the job offer for the Senior Manager position, I am extremely delighted to receive this news.
Before I accept the offer, I would like to address the proposed compensation. As I shared during the interview process, I have more than eleven years of experience in fashion marketing and have worked in leadership positions for the past five years. In my previous role, I helped my team exceed the monthly quota by 25% for five years in a row and landed six of the largest accounts in company history.
Considering my background and past successes, I am seeking an annual salary in the range of $200,000 to $230,000, which is slightly higher than your offer of $190,000. I am more than open to discussing alternative compensation, such as opportunities for additional stock options or increased performance-based bonuses.
I’d love to hear your thoughts and please kindly let me know if we can discuss this matter further.
🔑 Key Takeaways:
When negotiating your salary, make sure to understand what you can offer to employers and how your skills and experience meet their business requirements.
As the pros of starting a wage negotiation seem to outweigh the cons, be sure to do so before you accept a new job offer from a potential employer or re-sign a job contract with your current employer. After all, the worst thing they can say is no!
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--- Originally written by Wayne Chang ---