Whether it’s your first job or not, negotiating your salary is always something you should consider doing. You may feel like what you were offered doesn’t represent everything that you bring to the table or maybe you just feel like you could get a little bit more. The important thing to remember is that you won’t know what your options are if you don’t ask.
Since negotiating a salary can be nerve racking we’ve compiled a list of tips to help you through your negotiation.
- Know your worth! Understand the value you bring to the company and have an idea of what you expect to be compensated. A great way to start figuring a base number is to find the average compensation for your job title in the area you are working. Salaries can be vastly different for the same job based on the city you are in. Once you get an average range you can use Glassdoors Know Your Worth tool to get a better estimate based on your personal experience.
- Take your time. Don’t jump to negotiate the second you receive an offer. Simply saying “I need to think about it” can result in an increased offer without having to negotiate anything. Regardless, take time to review the terms of the offer to determine how it fits with your needs.
- Build your case. Why do you deserve to be paid what you are asking. The company already knows you add value which is why they are offering you the job in the first place. Give them reasons why they should consider paying you more. Offering experience from your previous jobs where you’ve increased value for your employers is essential.
- Be prepared to answer questions. Even if you have a solid case, the employer is still going to ask why you deserve it. Don’t get flustered or defensive. Answer thoughtfully and honestly, citing previous examples and being upfront about your reasons.
- Prepare for back-and-forth. It’s called a negotiation for a reason. It’s unlikely they will be able to give you the top salary you are requesting. If you refuse to compromise, you may risk losing the offer entirely. Be prepared for your employer to say no on your salary request and know if you will still accept the offer. Perhaps you can suggest that you get a six-month review instead of an annual for the purpose of proving your worth and to discuss salary at that time.
- Be flexible. Ask about other benefits they may be able to include instead. Many times a company will have more leeway on benefits such as childcare, healthcare, or time off. If they can’t offer you more money, they may be able to offer you a couple extra days of paid vacation. Be flexible in what you’ll accept and be sure to ask.
Negotiating a salary can feel risky and nerve racking but it’s an important step. Most jobs you get after this one (whether in the same company or not) will build off your previous salaries. If you don’t negotiate to get a fair compensation now, it could affect your compensation for the rest of your career. It can’t hurt to ask if there is any negotiation room on compensation when you receive a job offer, so take the risk and see what comes of it.