How to negotiate for a salary you deserve

We all as human beings, considered the smartest beings on the face of earth should know how to survive which means we must know ways to fulfill our basic needs. Men and women have to balance their lives and its varied affairs and we must surely have the power to do this. By balance it is meant that we all must know how to look after our self, our families and our entire lives. And it means we need to work and earn money to fulfill this objective. We all want great lives but it is not naturally made available to us because life for none is a fairy tale. The money that we will earn will depend on our ability and competency, the skill which we will employ to do our jobs. And being in a competitive world we need to seriously work hard and be smarter to lead a better life.

We may be starting a new job or gunning for a promotion at the current one but one thing we must all be doing is negotiating your salaries.It has been studied in an American survey that only 37% of people negotiate their salaries and 18% don’t do it while 44% do not come up with any conversation about it, the reason being fear.Negotiation is a skill which many people don’t find themselves a master in.They don’t have much experience in it.But it can earn or save us more money in less time than any other method.There are many people who love their work but the main reason of doing that work is to earn money.Different people have different motives to earn their livelihood that is generally money.

Some work to amass wealth,some do so to cover their expenses,some work to learn a new skill and in return get the reward for the same in the form of their salary,i.e,money.But whatever be our motivation,the driving force or underlying cause of putting in our total effort,time,patience and interest is to earn from the fire we burn in.And all of us,who work for a living share a common belief that getting more money is a better option than others.

Most of the candidates are not apt at negotiating for a salary hike and they don’t realise that it is an expected part of the interview and a skill they must be perfect at.If we don’t negotiate for a salary rise,we could be leaving money on the table so it would be advisable to employ these tricks to increase our perceived value and our value of take-home pay.

1.Do a lot of research–Before putting down a final figure, we need to do some calculations based on objective research. We should not walk into a negotiation without a number idea because then it will leave us at the mercy of the employer who can control the entire conversation. There are many reasons to do this. Firstly we can measure up our skill setup, our potential talents, our abilities, overall caliber and comparing it with a suitable price figure we can put forward our say regarding the salary we think is proper for us and which will justify our efforts and strike a balanced chord of work-pay equation. Secondly we should back our demands with facts and current ongoing trends of salaries being given to people in similar positions in other companies. We should research the average salary for our target position, the salary we are currently getting, do more such comparisons and make our point thus clear in a better formatted way. These comparisons should be done to make the point real, not fantastical, citing examples from real data.

2.Know your worth for the company—We should know that our value to the company is greater than the position we are applying for. If we have worked in a company for ten years we must have gained expertise, varied skills, known the titbits of work culture, entrepreneurial expertise and how to sustain a profitable setup for the company. We have worked hard for the development and progress of the company, have worked night and day to give it a profitable plan, direction and have given our heart and soul for its betterment. We along the course of our career and timespan in the organization have developed peripheral skills which have objective value. 

3.Ignore previous facts–We should not follow the mindset of an amateur salary negotiator. We should not use the previous salary we were getting as a base or standard to ask for increments or price rise that we think our work and our position in the company deserves. If nothing has changed about us and we are working for the same company at the same position, this move is totally counterproductive. We should not base our calculations on our old salary. We should instead look at the objective value of ourself for the company. We should not even mention our old salary in the interview.

4.Think beyond base salary—Negotiation is a numbers game but one should negotiate for more than just the base salary. We can take the talk to getting peripheral benefits like health or retirement plan and we can get even creative like requesting extra vacation days or flexi work-from-home time. We can think about what is important to us in a job apart from money and can negotiate for it too.

5.Be prepared for acceptance or rejection equally–We must be ready to ask for the amount we think is proper for us before the employer makes an initial offer.We must have a salary range we are looking for and ask for the high end of that range.There may be equal chances of acceptance and rejection and we should be ready for both the good and bad,both of them.

6.Explain your reasoning—When we put forward our ask,we should mention about the research we did.We may do well if we explained the requested figure and if it is more than the market price for the position.We also need to justify your value to the company being as objective as possible.This way even if our request is over-the-top then the company would still appreciate the extra forethought we put in our ask.

7.Maintain confidence and proper body language-This point goes well without saying during any interview but this point has to be maintained focusing on it. We must exhibit proper body language and talk softly sounding more confident and professional.

8.Do some home work–We may prepare a brag sheet. It is a one page summary of our awesome work, deliverance and achievements. We may list our specific accomplishments, awards and customer or coworker testimonials.

9.Feel powered up—Before going for a salary negotiation we should drink some coffee. It has been found through research that caffeine makes people resistant to persuasion, getting them charged up and thus better placed in negotiating demands.

10.Start with questions—We must start the conversation by asking diagnostic questions to understand more about the other party’s true needs, preferences and priorities. We must show the organisation what all we can do. Before starting the number talk, discuss about what we have done and more importantly what you can do. We may use our brag sheet and let the company have a look at our accomplishments and highlight times when we’ve gone above and beyond in our role which will build the case about our raise.

11.Be positive—Negotiation may be scary but we should try and keep the conversation on a positive note. We may start the talk with something like, ’I really enjoy working here and find my projects quite challenging. I have found that from last year my work scope has expanded and I believe my roles and responsibilities along with my contributions have risen. So I would like to discuss about the possibility of reviewing my remuneration. We may ask out for more than we would really want. We may even ask for too much! It won’t be anything wrong because the worst that could happen if we put the high number would be that the other party would counteroffer but the worst that could happen if we don’t negotiate would be that we will get nothing.

12.Don’t use a range—It is a good way to not use the word ‘between’ when negotiating. Or should not use the word ‘range’ because it means we are willing to concede and the other party guy would immediately jump to the smaller number.

13.Focus on market value–We should not discuss a raise or new salary based on our current earning rather keep the conversation focused on what the market is paying for people like us. We may also try to prioritise our wants and requests. We should lay out everything on the table in rank order. Like we may firstly want to talk about salary which is most important, followed by location, vacation time, flexi time payments, bonus and other such benefits. By putting our priorities in a rank order our counterpart can understand our interests and then we can ask them to share their priorities looking out for opportunities providing mutually beneficial trade offs where both sides win on issues that are most important to both of them.

14.Do not mention personal needs—There’s no need to focus on our personal needs and life because there are similar situations being faced by our coworkers. We may present a better picture when we stand more professional at our place and we focus on our performance and achievements.

15.Ask for the company’s advice and their views—After we have put out requirements flat and fair on the table we can ask the other party for their valuable suggestions and recommendations. This will improve trust and mutual understanding between the company and us benefitting us in the long run.

16.We may use email negotiation too—If we do not do the talk in person or over the phone, we may do so via email. It will be a whole lot less scary. We must be more empathic, pleasant worded and open in our message. We should listen to the other party too. Because it’s also very important. Because it will make us understand their perspective and needs too and then find a proper, balanced solution for both of us.


Despite following these points there is no guarantee that we will land the dream salary that we want because of many factors like budget constraints, tight competition etc. But what’s anything worth without a try and a rightful fight for it? So if we know our odds but still do not try we are doing ourselves a great disservice. So if we feel we are fit in our job and we qualify for a salary raise we must go for it, do the necessary exploring, research, ask our price with confidence and know that nothing stands promising in service industry without a promising pay check to which every deserving professional is entitled to.

Published by ambikajha

I am Ambika Jha.I like to write on different topics.I feel life is too short for anything.So let us work our best in the given time and let life's music be in rhythm and rhyme.So be your best and never stop to learn and write.

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