Who wouldn’t love a salary increase? Whether you are being offered a new position or are looking for a raise in your current role, you should be negotiating the salary. According to Salary.com, only 37% of people always negotiate their salaries. 44% of people have never even brought up a raise during their performance reviews. And why don’t people ask for more money? They are afraid.
These statistics are even more disheartening for women. According to the 2007 book Women Don’t Ask, only about 7% of women tried to negotiate their first salary compared to about 57% of men. No matter where you are in your career or what gender you are, don’t be afraid to ask for more.
Think about it like this: say you get hired at the same time as a coworker for the same position. You are both offered a $50,000 salary initially. Your coworker negotiates her salary to $56,000. You do not, so yours stays at $50,000. Not only will your coworker be getting paid more than you for the same job initially, but every time you both get annual raises, hers will be larger. For example, say that after one year, you both get a 5% raise. Since your salary is $50,000, you get a $2,500 raise. Your coworker, however, gets a $2,800 raise, widening the gap even more… for the same job.
Are you convinced yet? Wondering how to negotiate a salary offer? If so, keep reading for tips on the best way to have a successful outcome in a salary negotiation.
Know Your Worth
Before going into any salary negotiation or job interview, know what you’re worth. Research industry trends and find out what other people in your position are making. Factor in your skills and experience to come up with an exact salary amount. One of the biggest mistakes people often make is going into an interview or salary negotiation without a solid number in mind. Without knowing what you want and deserve, you can end up floundering during negotiation.
Ask for the Top of the Range
When you research the typical salaries in your industry and position, you are likely to find salary ranges. Always ask for the top of the range. Don’t give your employer or future employer a range, as they likely will automatically go to the lower end of the range. Instead, focus on the high end, and if needed, the negotiator can go down from there.
When asking for a higher salary, give an exact number. Do not say $60,000. Instead, give a specific number such as $61,408. Giving a more specific number gives the negotiator the impression that you have done a lot of research into market values to know what you should expect.
Be Okay with Walking Away
You have to go into any negotiation knowing you may not get what you want and deserve. Be able to decide for yourself what is a good deal and what isn’t. Part of being a successful adult is knowing when to walk away. Don’t sell yourself short and settle for less out of fear.
There’s a Right Time for Everything
If you’re asking for a raise, plan it for the best time. Many people decide to wait until annual raise time, which may be too late for negotiating. Instead, approach your employer three to four months in advance so that they can plan accordingly.
Brag a Little Bit
Don’t be afraid to brag a little bit. Come up with a one-pager outlining your skills, experience, and certifications. If you don’t brag about yourself, nobody will.
Be Prepared to Counter
If you are given an amount, whether at a salary negotiation or a job offer, be prepared to counter. Again, make sure you have researched the industry averages so that you know what you can realistically expect. Have a rebuttal prepared so you are ready to counter should you need to. You can also ask to take 24-48 hours to consider an offer and counter later.
Once you successfully negotiate your salary, don’t stop there! Keep working hard in your position and periodically research to ensure you are earning the fair amount for your work. For more personal finance tips, check out our learning center blog!