Salary negotiation doesn’t have to feel uncertain or intimidating. As long as you’ve done research to learn a realistic salary range to ask for and have a plan in place for navigating the negotiation, there’s nothing to worry about.
Step #1: Have a Salary Range Rather than a Single Figure
When pressed for your salary requirements, you should always be sure to offer a range based on what others in the field are earning, rather than a single fixed number.
Step #2: Don’t Sell Yourself Short
One common mistake when talking about the previous salary is forgetting to include benefits as part of your total compensation, says author Don Hurzeler. For example, if you are earning $100,000 a year with a 20% bonus plus health, dental and other incidental benefits, you should answer the question by saying, “$120,000 plus generous benefits.”
Step #3: Practice Your Pitch at Least Once Before the Actual Negotiation
Find someone to listen to your proposal for a salary increase, so you can feel the cadence of your speaking points out loud in a conversational setting.
Step #4: Be Gracious
No matter the outcome, be understanding, appreciative and thankful for the opportunity.
Step #5: Be Confident in Your Delivery
It’s extremely important to put on your game face when it comes time to negotiate.
Step #6: Avoid Accepting the First Offer
If you need time to evaluate an offer, say so. Schedule your next meeting 24-48 hours out and come back with your counteroffer.
Before your next salary negotiation — whether for a new job or as your lobby for a promotion — learn what to say, how to make a strong case, anticipate your manager’s questions and ultimately seal the deal.