Whether you want to change your salary at your current position or you’re negotiating with a potential new employer, talking about money can be uncomfortable. These difficult situations are often delicate and require confidence and tact on your part. Here are five steps to negotiate your salary.
1. Research Industry Salaries
To start, you should look into the market salary ranges for your position or the one you’re getting hired for. Beyond the basic job functions, compare your education, experience, and skills to narrow down the range. The employer will also typically do this research, so it helps get you on a level playing field when entering negotiations.
2. Consider the Benefits
It’s smart to evaluate the entire package being offered. Sometimes, benefits can make up a gap between the salary you are offered and the salary you desire. Compare offers and take into consideration the amount of healthcare that is covered, company contributions to your 401(k), and other financial compensation beyond your salary. You may find that a slightly lower salary accompanies a better benefits package.
3. Practice Your Negotiating Skills
Once you’ve landed on a desired salary number, start practicing the discussion with a friend or family member. Have them role play with you so that you can be prepared for common objections or other points that may be brought up. Practice your responses to these points to build your confidence. And be open to any feedback they may share!
4. Communicate Clearly and Positively
It’s critical to stay positive and communicate clearly with your supervisor or the hiring manager. If you’re negotiating with your current employer, they likely want you to stay! So be polite and maintain a good working relationship. If you’re discussing salary with a prospective employer, you still need to be polite. This is the first introduction to the new company you will work for, and you want to start off on the right foot.
5. Be Open to Compromise
State your reasons (bolstered by your research) for seeking a specific salary. Be prepared to answer questions, deter objections, and admit fair points that the hiring manager brings up. Above all, be open to compromise, as both parties may need to give a little bit to reach a mutually beneficial salary.