How To Negotiate a Higher Salary

Discover essential tips for negotiating a better salary at work.

Negotiating a higher salary is a complex and sometimes awkward process that can make you squirm in your seat. But you can get better at it by mastering a few salary negotiation tips to help you come out on top. Whether you're currently interviewing or are seeking an increase at your current company, let's look at some of the best ways to master the art of negotiating a higher salary.

1. Set a salary goal beforehand

It would be best if you had a clear idea of what you want to achieve in salary negotiation before it starts. You'll also need to clarify the minimum you'll be happy with as an outcome. Set a target higher than what you would settle for so you have room to move in the negotiation.

When entering a discussion to increase your current salary, you'll need first to self-evaluate your work history and determine why now is the right time to begin a conversation regarding an increase. Some common reasons for seeking a salary increase are because your workload has changed or the industry standard for your role is different from the time you joined the company. It may also be helpful to review employee handbooks and confirm company policies for promotion timelines and salary reviews ahead of any conversations with your manager. 

2. Prepare ahead of time

Before the meeting or discussion, consider all the possible arguments that could arise and prepare yourself with counter-arguments and examples from your own experience. It may also be helpful to research industry standards for your role or run a competitive analysis to learn what other organizations are paying for similar roles. The goal of salary negotiations is to ensure you know your worth and how much other people get paid for doing your job so that you can support your argument for a higher salary. 

3. Be confident

The most important factor in any negotiation is confidence. If you go into a salary negotiation nervous or unsure of yourself, it could show through and undermine your chances of success. Unfortunately, low self-esteem can be evident to others, so if this is likely a problem, try to do something about it before the meeting begins. Confidence isn't just about what's going on inside — it is also the persona you project to the world. If confidence skills are undermining your ability to negotiate a good salary, consider getting a coach or taking a class in public speaking. Both can help you project an area of confidence. 

4. Practice your delivery

It's not enough to know what to say — how you say it is just as important! If your tone of voice conveys impatience or frustration, your counterpart may read that as hostility or anger and respond accordingly. You may have perfect arguments and fantastic logic, but if you can't get your point across effectively, it won't matter. 

Practice your delivery in front of a mirror or, better yet, record yourself on video and play it back so you can see what others might see when interacting with you. Practice makes perfect! When the negotiation is finally over, thank everyone who participated, regardless of their side. This will go a long way toward preserving relationships and also ensure that future negotiations go much more smoothly.

Know how to advocate for yourself in the workplace 

While many people shy away from negotiating their salary, knowing how to negotiate is one of the most important life skills you can master. Practice what you want to say and build the confidence you need to ask for what you're worth. And remember: you won't know what's possible unless you open the door for consecutive conversations.

Inkblot Therapy