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Salary Negotiation 101

Salary Negotiation 101

Salary negotiation is much easier if you are armed with numbers and data to support your claim. Even the smartest people I know have trouble asking for a raise or negotiating a higher salary at a new job, or asking for more money at a current job for fear of alienating their superiors.

Salary negotiation is not an easy task. Just beginning the conversation is difficult but knowing how to structure the ask properly is most important to be successful in salary negotiation.

Basic Salary Negotiation Prep

Always negotiate

Was the offer higher than you ever dreamed possible? Negotiate anyway! Only 57% of men even attempt to negotiate, and only 7% of women! If an offer is given, that’s only the beginning of the conversation. They gave you the offer because they want you, and you owe it to yourself to ask. And if this is a promotion at your current workplace, so the company has invested time and effort into training you. They don’t want to lose you!

Know your worth

Glassdoor.com, Payscale.com, Salary.com, and Bls.gov are great resources for researching your market rate. And even if you’re being paid market rate for your title, examine your real work duties. Are you the glue that holds a couple departments together? Do you manage people? Do you have equity? All these pieces are important to evaluate your worth.

Use action words

Don’t say, “I believe I can contribute to the company goals x y z.” Say, “My experience in x y z means I can raise profits/increase communication/iterate on features faster/etc which makes an immediate impact on the company goal of A”.

Negotiate correctly

When you ask, don’t just say you want a higher salary. Give a number and back up the number with reasons, data, and strong action words. Women, specifically, have a lot more success when they can point to past projects and data.

A recruiter at a multinational corporation said she routinely hired women for 65% to 75% of the salary they pay men for the same job. The company always gave the candidates the same offer, regardless of any factors. The way the candidates negotiated was the reason so many women got lower salaries in the end.

The men, when negotiating, gave a concrete number over 50% above the first offer, and then the recruiter negotiated down. If no number was given during the salary negotiation, the recruiter was not allowed to offer over 5k above the initial offer. Many women who attempted to negotiate did not state a number and accepted the next offer given, thinking they had won.

Ask early and ask often. This is especially true for women, who tend to wait for others to see their worth. If you do great work, you are valuable. If you ask, the answer may be no. The answer is definitely no if you DON’T ask.

The key is to realize that your offer will probably not be taken away during a salary negotiation. It’s not rude to ask for more money, especially if you’ve done your research and evaluated your work and contribution. If they do rescind your offer, do you want to work for that company anyway?

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