salary negotiations

Salaries can be a touchy subject, and many employees are far too nervous to ask for a raise or attempt to negotiate their salary during the on-boarding process of a new job. The main factor that prevents salary negotiations is fear. Negotiating your salary does not have to be scary, and we are here to give you tips on how to negotiate practically and professionally.

The first step to negotiating your salary is knowing the worth of your job and your experience level. It is necessary to know the starting, mid-range, and ending salary for your position in the specific industry you are in. You should also take into consideration your job location, because a job in California may pay higher than a job in Alabama simply because the cost of living is so much higher there. Websites like glassdoor, PayScale, and even LinkedIn can help you determine this range.  If there was a salary range listed with the job description, you’ll also want to take this into consideration as these are often firm.


Secondly, when you determine the average salary from your job, there will usually be a range of salaries. When negotiating, start with a number close to the salary that matches your experience in the job and the time you have worked in similar positions.  You’ll also want to be reasonable with your negotiation--you should not expect to make the upper range of a position when you’re just starting out.  

You’ll also want to consider the other benefits that are a part of your salary.  These can include health plans, retirement plans, company stock options, time-off, flexible hours, tuition benefits, or any other benefits that have a monetary value associated with them in addition to your salary.  For example, employers typically cover the bulk of health insurance costs, saving you money that you’d otherwise have to spend if you were not offered insurance through your job.

When asking for a raise, it is important to ensure you are ready for one. Ask yourself the following questions: “Have I been at my job for over a year? Have I been given new responsibilities and duties since I was hired? Have I been putting my all into this job and exceeding my employer’s expectations in all areas?” If you answered yes to all of the above, then is it acceptable for you to negotiate for a raise. When you are preparing for your salary negotiation, remember that timing is important. A good time to bring a potential raise up would be during performance evaluations.

In the actual negotiation of your salary, make sure to be confident, remember to consider where your employer is coming from and understand there are some circumstances they cannot control, and be kind but firm. When negotiating, put your target salary in a range. Then, anchor your target salary at the bottom of the range, and then stretch upwards by about 5%. This shows employers that you are flexible with your salary and willing to work with them to ensure you are both happy. 

With these tips under your belt, you are ready to negotiate a salary or a potential raise at any company you end up in. Do not fear the salary negotiation, it will only benefit you in the end!