How to negotiate a salary offer (+ get paid your worth!) 💰Apr 27, 2023
Salary negotiation is a crucial step in the job search process - don’t fall into the trap of thinking it’s optional. Advocating for fair pay is ALWAYS necessary. It's important to know how much you're worth and what your employer can offer, as well as what you're willing to accept - the three pillars in the salary negotiation game. Now, let’s make sure you get paid what you deserve.
In this blog, we're going to cover:
- Mindset traps to avoid when negotiating your salary
- Conducting market salary research
- The importance of not revealing your salary number first
- The process for effective salary negotiation
Let’s rock and roll 🤘
Mindset traps to avoid in salary negotiation
The first mindset trap to avoid when negotiating your salary is falling for the "take it or leave it" mentality. This is when you think that if you don't accept the offer, your chances of getting a job will be ruined. In reality, there are plenty of other opportunities out there waiting for you - and if this one doesn't work out, then at least now you know what salary range they were willing to pay and can use that information as leverage in future negotiations.
The second mindset trap to avoid when negotiating your salary is thinking that you don't deserve to negotiate because of your background or experience level. If an employer offers a salary range based on previous experience and education levels, and then hires someone who falls outside those parameters, that company has agreed to pay whatever amount was offered within those parameters. It's not up for debate; it's just how things work!
Finally: make sure that, before going into any negotiation session with an employer or Recruiter over compensation packages (including more than salary alone like, stock options, leave, benefits, training budgets, etc), you research what similar positions pay in similar industries and locations so that when asking questions during these meetings you'll sound informed, confident, and be able to back yourself with the facts.
Knowing your targeted salary number (market salary research)
The first step in negotiating salary is knowing your targeted salary figure. This will help you determine if your prospective employer's offer is reasonable and aligns with your needs/expectations.
The best way to find out what others in similar positions are making is by researching the market value of your position. You can do this by searching online or asking friends who work in similar industries and roles as yours (I love a bit of networking!). I also recommend looking at Glassdoor's Salary Explorer tool, which provides average salaries based on location and industry type (https://www.glassdoor.com/salary/).
Once you've done some research about what others earn for similar jobs, it’s time to pick a number that aligns with this. Since companies typically have a salary range allocated for the new hire, I recommend you do the same and set a range you’d be happy with (e.g. 80k-90k). Boom: there’s your shiny new target salary number!
Not revealing your salary number before the Recruiter tells you theirs
The most important thing you can do is to not reveal your number before the Recruiter tells you theirs. This will help ensure that you get the best deal possible for yourself, because it's always easier for someone else to negotiate down than up. They already know what range they're shooting for, so might as well see if it’s in line with your expectations before revealing your cards.
If asked directly what salary range you’re hoping to be offered, do not give them a number until after they've told YOU theirs! By asking open-ended questions about why your experience would be valuable at their company specifically - rather than simply stating "I want $X per year" - it shows them how much more value you could add by working there over another candidate - you want to be oozing ‘high-value hire’ energy.
Negotiating Your Salary Effectively
When it comes to negotiating your salary, confidence is key. You should feel comfortable asking for what you want and knowing that it's okay if the other side doesn't agree with all of your requests. If they don't accept all of your requirements, that doesn't mean they're rejecting you as a candidate - it just means there wasn’t a strong alignment between your needs and the company's - plus it gives you room for improvement in future negotiations.
It's also important not to let emotions get in the way of negotiating effectively. It may be tempting after receiving an offer from a company that really seems like a great fit for you (and vice versa) but remember: this isn't about whether or not someone likes you or thinks highly enough of your skillset; it's about getting paid what YOU think is fair compensation based on market value and experience level.
As a little parting gift, let me remind you of the key to salary negotiation:
Don't accept an initial offer without trying to negotiate for more money or other perks - they always build wiggle room into the initial offer.
This blog has barely scratched to surface of my salary negotiation knowledge, tips, and strategies. If you’re hungry for more tips to get your PAID your worth, like the badass you are, simply tap on the image below to watch my free salary negotiation masterclass (you really don’t want to skip it!).