How to Negotiate a Salary

It is important to be satisfied by your job environment and pay rate when in any employment scenario. Your salary represents the total amount of yearly income that you will receive in order to do things like pay your rent or mortgage, pay utilities, save, invest, buy food, travel, and seek out entertainment. Your salary also represents your perceived value to the company for which you work.

Negotiating a Salary in the Workplace
It is important to feel valued and adequately compensated in an employment scenario. Sometimes it is necessary to reach out to upper management in order to schedule an appointment for re-negotiating your salary in an existing job situation. Other times, new employment opportunities will allow you to negotiate a salary during the hiring and on boarding process. It is important to know what to do in order to make this process go as well as possible.

Step 1: Be Professional
A more professional employee will be perceived by management as deserving a better salary. There are a few ways to make a professional first impression when negotiating a salary. Even if you have met the manager or human resources representative before, you will want to make a professional first impression. Dress well when preparing for the salary negotiation meeting if it is planned to occur in person or over video chat. Be sure to introduce yourself firmly and clearly and to limit your use of unprofessional filler words like um, uh, or like during the salary negotiation.

Step 2: Have a Plan Before Entering the Situation
When you enter any situation, professional or personal, with a plan, it is sure to go better for you. Write out a plan before your salary negotiation meeting. Write out any key points or numbers that you will want to mention during the conversation. It is important to have a plan that is clear, but also one that is flexible. You never know exactly what will be said or done during the meeting. In this case, acknowledging that you do not have full control of the situation will allow you to better adapt to it. Adaptable employees are often seen as more valuable by employers as well.

Step 3: Be Firm and Succinct
You do not want to over-explain yourself when asking for a raise or when asking for a specific salary amount. Time management is an important professional skill. By demonstrating your time management and communication skills during the salary negotiation process, you will also demonstrate your value as an employee. Being firm and succinct when communicating in business situations will also allow you to come off as more confident and professional. Employers will often be more likely to want to give a raise to someone who is confident and professional than someone who is unprofessional and self doubting.

Step 4: Be Prepare to Negotiate or Respond to a “No” Response
Even if you have the most professional attitude in the world and the best reasons possible for asking for a specific salary, you might receive a “no” answer during this meeting. Do not have an emotional reaction to this no answer. By having a plan in mind, you will be prepared to accept of reject specific salary values. The first “no” that you receive is not necessarily a final or full no answer. You may want to ask further questions or respond with a professional rebuttal when you receive a no answer to your salary request.

Step 5: Demonstrate Your Value and Dedication to the Company with Specific Examples
There are a few reasons that you may need your salary. During a salary negotiation, do not mention any specific reasons that you may want or need a salary amount. For example, it is never a good idea to mention increased expenses, medical bills, credit card debt, or family matters when listing reasons that you desire or require a specific salary amount. Instead, you will want to highlight your professional skills, professional achievements, and value to the company when negotiating a salary. It is a good idea to mention numbers at this point in the negotiation process. For example, if you were able to increase sales for a specific department by 10 percent over the course of one quarter, it may be appropriate to mention this while asking for a salary that is around 10 percent higher than your employer’s original plan.

Negotiating a Salary in the Workplace: Conclusions
Negotiating a salary in the workplace may seem daunting but it is a necessary skill for any professional have. By following these steps, some of the confusion can be removed from the process of trying to figure out just how to negotiate your salary. For new opportunities and raises alike this is an important skill to have.