How To Negotiate Your Salary

Updated: May 14, 2019

Regardless of how much you know you deserve it, asking for a raise can be a daunting prospect for most of us.

Here are 10 tips to help you negotiate your salary.

1. Know your value

If you’re going to get the pay you deserve, it’s crucial to know the going rate for your position in your specific industry and in your geographic area. 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.

You can do this by searching on Glassdoor or by asking others in your field (ideally both men and women, to avoid falling victim to the gender pay gap).

2. Pick the top of the range

As you’re doing your research, you’ll likely come up with a range that represents your market value. It can be tempting to ask for something in the middle of the range, but instead you should ask for something toward the top.

First of all, you should assume you’re entitled to top pay,

Second, your employer will almost certainly negotiate down, so you need wiggle room to still end up with a salary you’re pleased with.

3. Know the exact number

You should ask for a very specific number—say, £64,750 rather than £65,000.

Turns out, when employees use a more precise number in their initial negotiation request, they are more likely to get a final offer closer to what they were hoping for. This is because the employer will assume you’ve done more extensive research into your market value to reach that specific number.

4. Make sure you are ready

Before you ask for a raise, you’ll want to ask yourself a few questions.

Have you been at your job for a year? Have you taken on new responsibilities since you’ve been hired? Have you been exceeding expectations (rather than just meeting them)? The answer to all of these should be “yes.”

5. Plan the right timing

Turns out, timing is everything. Most people wait until performance review season to ask for a salary adjustment, but by that time, your boss has probably already decided what raises will be doled out to the team.

Instead? Start talking to your boss about getting a raise three to four months in advance, that’s when they decide the budget.

6. Write a list

Prepare a “brag sheet, “It’s a one-page summary that shows how amazing you are as an employee. List any accomplishments, awards, and customer or co-worker testimonials (“You saved me when you did XYZ!” emails definitely count as testimonials!) you’ve received since your last review. You want to demonstrate your value to your boss.

7. Set the meeting for Thursday

Studies show that you’re more likely to get a raise if you ask on Thursday.

We tend to start off the week more hard-nosed and even disagreeable, but become more flexible and accommodating as the week wears on. Thursdays and Fridays find us most open to negotiation and compromise because we want to finish our work before the week is out.

The Penny Pal