How to handle your next salary negotiation - and 7 tips you need to know

It’s a fact.

very few people enjoy negotiating salary.

We walk into them hoping for the best but feeling uncertain about the outcome.

The truth is, failing to ask for what you deserve, especially at the offer stage, could cost you thousands of  pounds over the course of your career. What’s more, most hiring managers expect candidates to negotiate.

So regardless of your gender, industry, seniority and whether you’re in first job or your fifth, it’s time to learn how to negotiate.

What is a salary negotiation?

Salary negotiations are discussions between you and your current or future employer that aim to help you secure the highest salary you can get.

Despite many people’s concerns, there is absolutely no reason that salary negotiations should turn nasty. Remember that you and they are ultimately on the same side. The most productive salary negotiations are those between individuals who acknowledge and accept their common goal: that employees receive suitable payment in accordance with their worth

So It doesn’t matter if you’re a long-time employee or a new hire. If you believe that your salary isn’t enough, you should feel empowered to negotiate in order to get what you deserve.

Why it’s crucial to negotiate your salary

Bear in mind that negotiating your salary is an completely normal and acceptable practice as an employee. Receiving the salary you deserve is all part of the development of your career.

Your salary is representative of more than what’s being pinged into your bank account. It shows your company’s appreciation of your work, your value and your skills. It is also your company’s direct means of supporting you and your lifestyle.

Remember: It’s not just your salary that you’re negotiating.

your salary includes the job-related perks you receive. Negotiating for some of these perks will help achieve the complete salary and benefits package that you feel is fitting for your role at the company. These perks can include mentoring and coaching, childcare, subsidised travel, flexible working and professional development to name a few.

So how can you get comfortable talking about money with your current or future employer? The same way you get better at sports or dancing — practice. Beyond that, it also pays to have a few tricks up your sleeve. And we’ve got you covered on that. Here are a few tips to help you with your next salary negotiation.

Talk to recruiters

We all get calls from recruiters pitching jobs they think we’d be suitable. Next time pick up those calls. They know what people with similar experience and expertise to yours are worth, so get some inside knowledge and use it to your advantage! The next time one reaches out to you, engage in a conversation about the position’s responsibilities and pay. You may not get a specific number, but even a range is helpful.

Know your worth and name a price

If you walk into a salary negotiation without a number, you’re at the mercy of an experienced hiring manager who can simply control the conversation. Research the going rate for your position in your industry and in your geographic area and then put forward a number. After all, the first number becomes an anchor around which the haggling begins.

Practice your pitch 

Practice makes perfect. Find someone to listen to your proposal for a salary increase, so you can get a feel of the flow of your speaking points out loud in a conversational setting. Much of a successful negotiation boils down to feeling comfortable and well-prepared.

Avoid accepting the first offer

If you need time to evaluate an offer, say so. Schedule your next meeting 24-48 hours out and come back with your counteroffer. You don’t get if you don’t ask as they say.

Pick your moment wisely

If you’re seeking a pay rise at your current job it’s most likely been a while since your salary negotiation, but you still need to pick a good time to negotiate for a pay rise if you’re serious about getting it. A great time to bring up the subject of a pay rise is when you know your manager is impressed with your performance and/or in a good mood.

If you’re negotiating salary for a new role, do so shortly after receiving a verbal offer.

Be Firm & Persuasive

Confidence is key. The confidence and persuasiveness you portray will be essential in successfully negotiating a pay rise.

Be willing to walk away

When considering the salary you want, you should also come up with a “walk away point”—a final offer that’s so low that you have to turn it down.

This could be based on financial need, market value, or simply what you need to feel good about the salary you’re bringing home. Walking away from an offer will never be easy, but it’s important to know when to say “no.”

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