Talking about money is something that makes a lot of people uncomfortable. Even though salary is an important part of our lives – it helps us pay for food, shelter, and the other staples of our life – it’s not often discussed outside of a job offer, promotion, or annual review. Even when it’s a primary determining factor in someone’s job satisfaction or even in someone’s ability to take a job, most employees feel that a salary offer might not be negotiable or that asking for discussion around the topic might put their job on the line.
Here are some idea for how to approach negotiating your salary.
- Just ask: It’s okay to get an offer letter and say something like, “I’m very excited about this opportunity and hope we can have a conversation about salary to reach a number that feels fair to all parties. Can we discuss over the phone?” Opening the door in a respectful way is the first step. A business might even see that as an enthusiastic, go-getter mentally and feel more committed to their decision to hire you based on your ambition and clarity and feel comfortable raising the salary amount in order to solidify your best work with their company.
- Have your reasons ready: Make sure that when the conversation happens, you can point to both the specific salary and reasons why you think it’s deserved. If it’s market trends, rare experience and certifications, or years of industry expertise, make sure that you have the data ready to discuss.
- Discuss other forms of compensation: If their salary is firm, ask about other options. Can they cover your cell phone and internet costs for working from? Can they give you a stipend for childcare or other benefits can help you justify and offset a lower-than-expected salary?
Salary negotiations don’t have to be respectful – just make sure that you’re professional and flexible, and it’s likely that you can find a number that works for everyone.
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