10 Successful Tips to Negotiate a Better Salary

If you’re one of the millions of people looking to get a better salary or searching for a new job, it’s essential to learn how to negotiate a better compensation package for yourself. Even if you plan on staying in your current position, understanding how to negotiate effectively can help you land the pay increase you deserve. Here are ten tips to help you navigate how to negotiate better pay with your next job.

10 successful tips to negotiate a better salary.
10 successful tips to negotiate a better salary.

1. Start somewhere

It might surprise you to learn that only 49% of European job candidates negotiate their salaries. You can’t possibly expect to negotiate a higher-paying job if you don’t even try, so the first and most crucial step to a successful negotiation is to start somewhere. Many people are so afraid of rejection that they’ll never bother asking, or if they do, they’ll be too timid to ask for what they really want. By simply initiating a negotiation, you’ll be ahead of the pack and well on your way to successfully negotiating a salary increase.

2. Do your research

Before you even come up with a number, you’ll want to do extensive market research to determine what others in the industry are paying for the role you’re working in or applying for. Scour the internet for average salaries of jobs like the one you’re considering, speak to recruiters, and figure out what the company’s competition is paying. It’s crucial that when you present the salary you want to an employer, you have concrete evidence to support it.

3. Use specific numbers, avoid broad ranges

Using a range like €50,000 – €60,000 might sound good, but it’s just an invitation to the employer to choose the lower number. A range might also indicate to an employer that you didn’t put much thought into your request, while a very specific number suggests you spent time and effort to determine an exact number of your worth.

4. Go higher than the number you want

Most people know how negotiation works, even if you’ve never been the one doing the negotiating. Rarely is an initial offer accepted without pushback; negotiation often involves several rounds of offers and counteroffers. When negotiating your next salary increase, you should fully expect the employer to present a counteroffer to your initial request. More often than not, negotiations end somewhere in the middle, with both sides compromising. Therefore, it’s helpful to start by asking for a slightly higher salary than the one you want, so you can have the flexibility to reduce that number and still achieve your salary goals.

5. Come prepared to defend your case

A negotiation isn’t always as simple as asking; come prepared to argue and defend your case.
A negotiation isn’t always as simple as asking; come prepared to argue and defend your case.

Negotiating a salary increase requires you to be prepared, much like a lawyer arguing a case in court. Remember, your employer’s goal is to succeed and make money, so if you want a salary increase, you will have to make a strong case for how you’re going to contribute to the company increasing its profits. If possible, it’s a great idea to share some statistics and critical contributions from previous roles that lend credibility to your claim that you can help the company grow. No matter how you decide to do this, be sure to practice and rehearse beforehand so you can fine-tune your pitch and come prepared to defend your case.

6. Focus on your strengths and what you bring to the table

When negotiating, focus on your strengths, your value to the company, and the future. Asking for a higher salary because you think you deserve it may not be a good enough reason, particularly if you’re applying for a job with a new company. You should also steer clear of sharing information about your personal finances and how the bills are piling up. Instead, take time to highlight our unique skill set and strengths and what you bring to the table.

7. Be flexible and consider the entire compensation package

Sometimes, you must get creative during the negotiation to get what you want. In some cases, that means giving up on the salary in exchange for a bonus, additional paid time off, or a permanent, full-time role instead of part-time or contract work. Many companies are more inclined to offer other benefits, so it may be worthwhile to think outside the box and explore options such as a one-time bonus, stock options, or other benefits like working remotely.

8. Be patient

Though difficult, exercising patience is a necessity when negotiating your pay increase.
Though difficult, exercising patience is a necessity when negotiating your pay increase.

Negotiation can often be a long experience that takes days or even weeks to finalize. While it can be a major challenge, you have to be patient during these negotiations. Once you’ve made your desired salary known, don’t expect your boss or a prospective employer to get back to you right away. There may be a formal approval process that takes time, particularly with large companies. Always be patient throughout the negotiation process; the last thing you want to do is pester an employer for an answer before they’ve decided.

9. Ask at the right time

There may not be a perfect time to ask for a salary increase, but there are certainly better times than others. If you’re staying with the same company, one of the best times to ask for a raise is during a performance review. If you’re looking at a new job, hold off on any salary negotiations until an offer has been extended to you. In general, many people find that they have better luck negotiating a higher salary at the start of a fiscal year when the company’s budget is fresh or when the company is thriving financially.

10. Say thank you

Regardless of the outcome, make sure to thank your boss or prospective employer for their time. Let them know you’re grateful to them for listening to you and considering your request. Maintaining your composure throughout the negotiation and being a bona fide professional will earn the respect of employers and leave them feeling optimistic about you.

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