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5 Salary Negotiation Tips for People Who’ve Never Negotiated Salary

Topics: Negotiation
salary negotiation tips

Negotiating for a higher salary can really pay off in the end. But, if you’re new to salary negotiation, you might not know how, and when, to ask for more.

Seventy-five percent of people who ask for a raise receive some kind of increase. Still, 57 percent of respondents to our survey say they’ve never negotiated for a higher salary.

The process of negotiation might be new to you, even if you’ve been in the working world for quite some time. Or, you might be thinking about negotiating your first professional job offer. Whatever the case may be, there are some tips that first time negotiators should keep in mind:

1. Know why You Should Negotiate

Yes, negotiating for a higher salary could help you earn more this year. But that’s not the only reason to ask for more.

Do You Know What You're Worth?

The fact is that most employers calculate raises as a percentage of current pay. Fail to negotiate now, and you could cost yourself hundreds of thousands of dollars over the course of your career.

Not sure how much to ask for? Use PayScale’s Salary Survey to figure out what professionals like you should be earning. Then, you’ll be able to explain your rationale for asking in a way that is logical and fair.

2. Ask for more information

One way to begin a negotiation is to ask for more information about what you were offered.

How did they come to that number? It’s OK to ask. You might find that they haven’t taken all of your skills and experiences into consideration. The conversation could lead you to a higher salary offer.

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3. Keep emotion out of it

You know that negotiating is the right thing to do. However, that doesn’t make the process any less emotionally fraught.

You’ll probably feel a little nervous about the conversation. Or, you could feel a bit angry about the low salary you were offered in the first place. No matter how you’re feeling, it’s important to keep emotions out of the discussion when it comes time to negotiate.

Never talk about personal finances when negotiating. Instead, stick to the facts and be pragmatic. This is business, not personal.

4. Know that you have to earn it

You won’t be given a higher salary offer, or a promotion, just because you’ve been with a company for a certain amount of time. You have to prove that you deserve a salary increase. Keep this in mind when deciding how, and when, to proceed with any salary negotiation.

“I tell all young professionals that you have to approach your career from the perspective that no one is going to just give it to you. You have to earn it,” Claire Bissot, managing director of CBIZ HR Services, tells Forbes. “You have to show you can do the job, way before anyone will think to give it to you. You are solely responsible for making sure you are paid what you are worth so make sure you stay educated, informed, and self-aware.”

5. Think about other aspects of compensation

Keep in mind that salary isn’t the only aspect of a job that’s negotiable. There are other layers to your compensation that you could consider discussing.

Sometimes, it’s easier for companies to move on perks like vacation time or flexible work options than it is for them to increase your salary offer. So, go into the negotiation with some of these ideas in your back pocket.

Tell Us What You Think

Are you negotiating salary for the first time? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.

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