How to Negotiate Your Expected Salary: Tips and Strategies for Success
Negotiating your expected salary can be a nerve-racking experience. After all, you’re essentially promoting your personal brand to an employer in hopes of coming to the best possible deal. While Jerry Maguire’s infamous “show me the money” approach may have worked in the movies, real-life situations often require a more strategic approach. Here are some tips and strategies to help you navigate the salary negotiation process.
Listen, then Defend
Effective communication is an essential part of any negotiation. When asked to lower your salary expectations, refrain from an immediate “no,” and take the time to understand your employer’s perspective. Is it a matter of budget, value, politics or all of the above? You’ll need to identify their angle to counter in an effective way. For instance, if the angle is value, you’ll need to demonstrate how you bring value to the company through money-saving initiatives or out-of-the-box thinking.
Prove Your Worth
It’s not enough to talk about how much you feel you deserve your expected salary; you’ll have to prove it. By highlighting specific projects you’ve successfully led and positive feedback you’ve received from colleagues, you can provide concrete reasons why you deserve your expected salary. Gather emails, performance evaluations, and commendations to support your case. Remember, your work should speak to why you refuse to be offered less than you deserve.
Back Up Your Position with Facts and Salary Data
Backing up your expected salary with hard data demonstrates that you’ve done your research and that you’re serious about advocating for yourself. Research reliable salary data sources like Salary.com to compare your experience, qualifications, and role with industry standards. If a standard raise is 2%, but you’ve performed above expectations, provide data to support your request for above-average recognition. Make sure your expected salary is justified, realistic and based on proven industry statistics.
Negotiate a Middle Ground
When getting a satisfactory outcome feels impossible, sometimes finding a middle ground can still be an option. Instead of completely letting go of your needs, see if there is room on both sides to compromise. While considering a job offer, negotiating benefits like work from home privileges, flex-time, transportation allowances, or bonuses instead of a higher salary can be a reasonable option. If you’re currently employed, set an agreed-upon time for a future increase based on performance, i.e., In six months, upon satisfactory completion of set goals, you’ll receive an increase.
Be Prepared to Walk Away
Although it may not seem ideal, being prepared to walk away may be the smartest move. Remember, for every “no,” there’s a “yes” waiting for you elsewhere. Don’t threaten to walk away in the hopes of getting what you want because it takes away from your credibility, and you may disappoint yourself. Stand firm when arguing for your expected salary but be open to compromise, if possible. Ultimately, the decision is yours, and you must be good with it, regardless of the outcome.
In conclusion, negotiating your expected salary is about valuing and promoting yourself. By listening to and understanding the employer’s perspective, demonstrating your worth, researching salary data, negotiating a middle ground, and being prepared to walk away, you can come to the best possible deal for yourself. Happy negotiating!