You’re finally reaching the end of your job search, as employers express their interest in hiring you. But before you can sign that contract and seal the deal, there are a few things to iron out, including your salary. But how exactly do you negotiate your salary?
While negotiating salary sounds intimidating, in reality, negotiating your salary can be very manageable – if you know what to keep in mind as you explore possibilities.
Adopting the 5 following tips will help you to effectively negotiate your salary:
1. Walk in with confidence
As you enter the venue to meet your potential employer to negotiate your salary, keep your head high and your back straight – and smile. The way you enter a room and communicate with your employer can dictate the rest of an interaction. Confidence and a positive attitude are important to boosting your ability to handle pressure and inspire mutual respect from the employer at the negotiating table.
2. Decide on the lowest number you’re willing to accept
When figuring out your salary range, identify the lowest number you’re willing to accept, which is known as your “walk-away point”. Your walk-away point anchors your expectations during the negotiation process. In the event an employer quotes you a lower number, your aim is to convince them to they’ll raise it. If the employer refuses to raise the figure above your walk-away point, then it may be an indication to move to the next employer.
3. …And ask for more
One crucial aspect of negotiating your salary is to provide the employer with a slightly higher number than your goal. It can be tempting to ask for something in the middle of the range, but instead you should ask for something toward the top. This means that if they negotiate their way down, you’ll still end up with a comfortable salary offer. And remember this – you should always bear in mind that you have the right to top pay.
4. Support your salary demand with your past work achievements
As you’re developing negotiation notes, you may find it helpful to answer the following question as a framework for your conversation: Why do you feel you deserve a higher salary than the one the employer is offering? Make sure you back it up with your previous achievements and where possible, use actual numbers and hard evidence. You should also be prepared with a few thoughts on what new initiatives you can value add to the company if you move forward with the career opportunity.
5. Remember, you’re not required to reveal your previous salary
If you’re not a fresh graduate and are negotiating your salary for a new job, it’s not uncommon for companies to ask about your current salary. If you’re not comfortable sharing that information, keep in mind that you don’t have to – and not providing it will not cost you the job opportunity. At the same time, you shouldn’t lie either.
Instead, reframe the question and be honest: “I’m actually not comfortable providing that information. However, I have been looking at roles in this specific salary range, because I believe that’s the value I’ll be bringing to the table. If that makes sense to you, I would love to continue the conversation and work towards an agreement. What do you say?”