Everyone is always looking for a way to increase their salary. Professionals go to great lengths to prove their value to employers and look for ways to convince their managers to give them a raise, but the truth is that the easiest way to get a higher salary is this.
Ask for one at the beginning of your negotiations. Here’s why this matters.
You Don’t Get What You Don’t Ask For
When you are in the early stages of getting recruited, the recruiters you work with are looking to find where on the pay spectrum you are positioned. It’s likely that they (particularly if they work for a staffing firm) have a wide array of positions open, and they don’t know where on the ladder you would fit until you tell them. And the old truth still stands, if you don’t ask for what you want, you’ll be unlikely to get what you deserve. You don’t want to let someone else decide what value you provide. Make sure you are clear about your worth to an employer and have the data to back it up. And if that salary point is not in line with what your recruiter is looking to provide you with, then it’s time for you to find another recruiter to work with.
Timing is Everything
If you do receive a job offer but it’s lower than you were hoping for, that’s not usually a good sign. There are of course opportunities to negotiate upwards closer to what you had in mind, but the first number on the table will always be an anchor. If you tell an employer what you expect before they put down an offer, they’ll be better prepared to align with your expectations, rather than you aligning to their proposal. A key to a good salary negotiation is leverage. And if you absolutely must take the job, then you have no leverage. If you have other competing offers on the table, then you have the leverage to get what you want out of the negotiation. But remember that timing is everything, and usually being upfront about your salary expectations is the best and fastest way to get to where your expectations lie.
Attitude is Critical
While a salary negotiation may seem like a battle between you and an employer, it’s more of a dance where both parties need to work together to find common ground. Be polite. Be friendly. Be eager and excited about the opportunity to work for the new company. Be confident that you are of value to and can really bring success to the role. And remember to never take things personally. If you don’t get exactly what you were hoping for, it’s not your fault. It’s not the recruiter shorting you out of spite. It’s business. And with business, there’s always a balance, a give and take. Approach your salary negotiations like a compromise both parties will eventually meet in the middle on, and you’ll be better prepared for where you end up.
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