Negotiating salary isn't always easy and experience doesn't speak for itself. However, you can learn and improve negotiation skills with tips that we've provided in this article and continued practice. 

Doing a job but not receiving appropriate compensation is harmful to your career and may lead to stagnation. Understanding how to handle salary negation properly is essential. Salary negotiation, like many things, is not easy. Thankfully it is a skill that can be learned and ultimately mastered, using our tips for negotiating salary outlined below.

Your Market Value

So you have a number in mind, but are you being reasonable, and do you have merit to support it? Make sure you do your research. What’s the going rate for your position, and is it representative of your industry and geographic location? Recruiters are a wealth of information in this realm. The best recruiters are trained within given skill areas, and they also have current insight into ongoing rates for given positions, markets, and industries. If you want to do some research independently, we recommend using online search sites that can provide averages and ranges of your market value. These calculations are based on job title, industry, geographic market, and even your years of experience. Look into sites such as, CompTIA, and Glassdoor.

Your Pitch

So you’ve done your research and have your going rate or salary range. Now what? One thing is for sure, you’ll be better prepared and will come off more confident when you have a pitch that you’ve practiced. Practice with family members, friends, or a career coach. There’s a good chance your recruiter knows a great career coach. Consider both sides of the conversation, yours and the hiring manager’s. Role-playing both sides of what you envision the conversation to be like is a great way to appreciate both perspectives. Speaking of both sides, do you want to see what the hiring manager will see when you’re talking? Practice by recording yourself or using the mirror. Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who’s the best negotiator of them all? Practice until you feel very comfortable and can discuss any of your negotiation points in any order. Remember, it’s ok to smile and be excited. Enthusiasm is always welcomed and helps set the mood of any conversation.

What to Expect

It wouldn’t be called salary negotiation without a counteroffer. So expect a hiring manager to provide a counteroffer less than what you’ve asked. With that in mind, start at the top of your salary range and be specific with your figure. Why? If you start lower, the counter is going to be even lower, and you are negotiating in your favor. Stay strong, don’t falter on your request and focus on the value you bring the employer. You practiced negotiation scenarios and have research to support your ask. Expect to use a specific number, which is indicative of your having done extensive research into your market worth. For example, use $74,750 instead of $75,000. The chances are that you’ll get a counteroffer closer to what you’ve asked for, and every little bit counts.

Your Demeanor

Speaking of every little bit, there’s a fine line between staying strong and being emotionally difficult/stubborn. Emotions have no place at the negotiation table. You’re not at war, so don’t take it personally and focus on negotiating your salary. Negotiation comes with individual finesse and confidence that is driven by professionalism. If the hiring manager isn’t able to hit your bottom line, don’t shut down or walk away. No one wants to hire short-tempered employees who make negative first impressions. A broken relationship with your upcoming manager isn’t going to work to your advantage.

You also want to consider other benefits and perks. Part of your negotiating should include things like bonuses, PTO, WFH policies, stock options, health insurance, training and development opportunities, as well as discounts on certificates/education/gym memberships. Benefits and perks are like the cherry on top of a treat. So keep negotiating, you’ll be surprised how much value benefits and perks can add up to be.

So there you have it, if you want to advance your career and pay or navigate other job opportunities, one thing is certain, salary negotiation will be a must. More importantly, one needs to understand how to handle the negotiation properly. And though attaining this knack can seem challenging, it is not impossible when you prepare with the salary negotiation tips that we’ve outlined for you here. Happy salary negotiating!