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How To Negotiate Salary: The Essential Guide For 2022

Get paid what you deserve in 2022, with this guide on how to negotiate a salary.
by Rob Gillham | Aug 22 2022

As part of any job offer, employers usually provide you with a compensation and benefits package and a salary proposal. If you are unsatisfied with the pay, you may want to negotiate for more money. Another option would be to suggest another form of compensation, such as equity or stock options, or additional benefits like extra vacation days.

When you know how to negotiate salary offers, you can ensure you’re fairly compensated for your work. To be successful, however, you need preparation and practice. In this article, you will learn how to negotiate a salary with our guide covering every step of the process, as well as some invaluable advice.

Salary Negotiation Basics

Does the idea of negotiating a salary give you anxiety? Discussing your pay when negotiating a job offer may feel intimidating and uncomfortable, but you are not alone. More than half of respondents to a recent survey by a major employment company said they never negotiated their pay. Your lifelong earning potential can be negatively affected if you don’t discuss your salary and benefits. Suppose you accept a starting salary that is 5% below your expectations, and the average salary increase in your country is 1%. In that case, it could take over two years to recover your earnings.

Employers expect candidates to negotiate salary when it comes to salary negotiations. In another survey, 70% of managers agreed that candidates should negotiate their salaries and benefits. Even though the idea of the conversation may be stressful, know that negotiations happen often and, when done correctly, can set your lifetime earning potential for success.

The Best Time To Negotiate A Salary 

Negotiating your salary is typically best done after you receive an offer rather than during the interview process. If you have shown that you are the best candidate for the job and know what the employer expects from you, you will have the most leverage. Your chances of getting hired could also be harmed by negotiating early on.

Countering an offer should be done only once or twice at most. Additionally, you should avoid revisiting a compensation package you’ve already agreed to. Having boundaries around what you will accept and what you won’t show respect for the employer.

When you present your initial offer over the phone, you can ask for some time to process the information. It’s important to tell the employer, if necessary, that you are excited about the opportunity and appreciate their offer. After reviewing it, ask if you can get back to them within a set period of time, ideally no more than 48 hours. Negotiations are best conducted over the phone to avoid miscommunication. If that’s more comfortable for you, you can also send your negotiation requests via email.

Salary Negotiation Tips 

1. Know When To Say No 

There are some cases when an employer cannot offer you the salary you need or the additional benefits you need to make a move worthwhile. A counter-offer may be made that is higher than the first offer but not as high as the salary you requested. You’ll need to decide whether the job is worth the lesser amount in this situation. It may be worth taking a lower salary if the position is less stressful, closer to home, or offers more flexibility. In any case, if not, you should consider walking away and finding another job.

2. Show An Interest 

Try to remain calm and confident when the person you’re negotiating with appears surprised or reacts negatively. Keep the conversation going by asking open-ended questions in response to their reaction.

3. Don’t Be Inflexible 

The employer may be able to offer you other forms of compensation even if they cannot provide you with the salary amount you want. To avoid long commutes, you may be able to negotiate additional vacation days, a sign-on bonus, or additional work-from-home days. In the event that the employer immediately tells you that they can’t increase your salary, ask for alternatives. The value of these skills may be just as high (or even greater) than the value of a paycheck in some cases.

4. Be Prepared

In order to understand your motivations, recruiters and hiring managers often ask important, sometimes intimidating, questions. Being honest is more important than getting rattled by these questions.

5. Consider Your Possible Expenses 

Taking the job may also cause you to accumulate additional costs that need to be covered. Expenses related to moving or selling your home, for instance, may be due if you relocate for a new job. A job further away from home will require you to factor in commute expenses, like train fares or gas and vehicle wear and tear. In many cases, candidates ask employers to adjust their salaries to account for costs associated with accepting a job.

6. Aim High

In salary negotiations, give the employer a slightly higher number than your goal. In this way, you will still be able to accept a salary offer you feel comfortable accepting even if they negotiate down. You should ensure the lowest amount you provide is still a fair salary range if you provide salary range.

7. Be Grateful 

After applying and interviewing for the position, you might have invested a lot of time and energy in the hiring process. Employers have also invested time in the process, so it’s important you acknowledge their efforts and thank them. Tell the employer why you’re excited about the job, such as its culture or its products. It is important to decline the offer professionally and in a friendly manner. It is impossible to predict what opportunities might come your way in the future.

8. Maintain Confidence 

It is just as important to deliver your negotiation with confidence as it is to use the right words. Your confidence will increase your employer’s confidence in their consideration of your feedback. It is important to differentiate between confidence, which is an appreciation of one’s own abilities and qualities, and arrogance, which is an exaggerated sense of one’s importance. Having a lack of confidence can also result in over-explaining or apologizing for your request, neither of which is helpful in a negotiation. Rather, state your salary request confidently and simply, including a brief explanation of your reasoning. Don’t forget that you bring a wealth of skills and experience to the organization. Employers should pay employees based on their value to the company. You should be confident in your decision to ask for more if you feel that the employer’s original offer is below the value aligned with your skills and experiences. Provide market salary and personal value data that supports your claim.

9. Have Talking Points Ready 

You might find it helpful to answer the following question as you prepare your negotiation notes: Why are you deserving of a higher salary than what the employer is offering? Be as specific as possible when contacting the employer.

10. Know The Average For Your Role 

Before starting your negotiations, it’s incredibly important that you research similar salaries that already exist for your position. Either in the same company, or in similar roles in competitors. You can use the market average as a basis for your salary request and even justify it.

11. Practice Makes Perfect 

Practicing the conversation you’ll have with the hiring manager with a friend or mentor may seem overkill to some, but it’s a good idea. Your ideal partner should be someone from the corporate world who can help you project confidence and answer unexpected questions. If you practice your delivery several times before the salary discussion, you are more likely to feel confident.

Key Points To Remember When Negotiating Salary 

The process of negotiating a salary should be preceded by a clear understanding of your value to an employer. Your compensation can be affected by several factors, such as:

Location: It is important to consider the cost of living in the area where you live. Generally speaking, it is more expensive to live in a major city than in a small town for someone with the same set of responsibilities.

Your experience: A higher salary might be justified if you have 1-4 years of experience and the job description requires that level of experience.

Additional experience: A higher salary may be justified if you meet or exceed the employer’s expectations of leadership skills, similar to industry experience.

Your education: You may receive a higher salary if you have a bachelor’s degree, a master’s degree, a Ph.D. degree, or a specialized degree, depending on the role or industry in which you work.

Career plan: As you advance in your career, your salary range is likely to increase.

Key skills: It is possible to earn more money if you have special skills or technical skills that take time to master.

Licenses and certifications: You may be required or prefer to have specific licenses or certifications by your employer. In the event that you already have them, you may be able to request a higher wage.

You should consider using the above factors when negotiating your salary and emphasize why you will be a valuable employee.

Negotiating salaries is an essential part of the hiring process. Discussing why you feel you need more compensation will help employers better understand your value. Negotiating becomes easier as you practice, just like learning any new skill. When you use the tips above to negotiate your salary, you’ll be well prepared, confident, and ready to secure what you deserve.


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