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How to Negotiate Your Salary

Negotiating your salary can be a nerve-wracking experience, but with the right strategies, anyone can have a successful conversation with their employer – whether prospective or current. Here, we’ll provide some practical tips on approaching this discussion.

If you’re interviewing for a new job, do your research

Doing your homework is crucial when you’re working out how to negotiate a higher salary. Take some time before the conversation to map out your past experience, figure out what others in similar positions are earning, and what you might be willing to compromise on in lieu of more money.

Showcase relevant experience

Prepare to highlight your relevant experience and expertise that directly aligns with the job requirements. Demonstrate how your achievements make you the ideal candidate for the position. One good question to ask interviewers is if they have any reservations about offering you the job or paying you a higher salary. If they suggest that you might not be experienced for the role, this is a good opportunity to explain more about your experience and relevant skills.

Research salary range

Before the conversation, research industry salary standards and the average pay for similar positions. This will give you a benchmark for your negotiation. It also helps to know how your location, experience, and expertise may impact your salary range.

Think about other benefits being offered

Show your flexibility and willingness to negotiate other aspects of the compensation package by noting other benefits, such as bonuses, wellness grants, or stock options. Think about what’s important to you beyond salary and what you’d be willing to accept if the company can’t quite meet your salary expectations. For example, as we all search for greater work-life balance, you could negotiate extra vacation days or the ability to work remotely. You could also enquire about study leave or paid study options as a way to bring your cost-to-company up to a level you and the employer would both be happy with.

If you’re seeking a raise from your current employer, come prepared

When negotiating a higher salary in your current job, consider these strategies:

Document your contributions

Before asking for a raise, make sure you have compiled a list of your significant contributions to the company, such as successful projects, cost savings, or revenue growth. This tangible evidence strengthens your case for a salary boost. Where possible and practical, attach numbers to your contributions. This makes it easier to track tangible progress and visualise the difference you’ve made.

Showcase professional development

Highlight any new skills you’ve acquired since your last salary review. Demonstrating continuous improvement showcases your commitment to personal growth and professional development. For example, if you’ve been given the responsibility of leading a team, show how successful those you’ve been leading have been and indicate what you’ve done to grow and improve in your management role.

Use your performance review

If your company has a structured performance review process, use it to discuss your achievements and your desire for a salary increase. Reviews usually come around at predictable times of the year, so assemble your contributions, salary research, and professional development and proactively bring discussing a raise up.

Structuring the salary conversation

When the day arrives, you want to feel confident going in. The first step in any salary negotiation is to plan and structure the conversation effectively. Whether you’re negotiating during an interview or seeking a raise at your current job, follow these steps:

Express your gratitude

If you’re at the end of the interview process, start by expressing gratitude for the job offer. Show appreciation for the opportunity and express your enthusiasm for the position. If you’re discussing a raise with your current employer, express your appreciation for the job and your commitment to the company.

Demonstrate your value

In both scenarios, emphasise your accomplishments and the unique value you bring to the table. Discuss how your skills and contributions have positively impacted the organisation’s success, or – if you’re being offered a job – how you’ll boost the team.

Discuss your goals

Outline your career aspirations and how the job aligns with your long-term goals. This shows the employer you’re invested in the role and the company’s growth. After having discussed the value you provide and how you plan to grow in your career at the company, you can bring up how much you’d like to be compensated.

Remember, it’s always a good idea to be professional and polite. Avoid making ultimatums or becoming confrontational, as it may harm your relationship with your employer. At the same time, understand your worth and the value you bring to the table. If you’ve prepared effectively, you’ll be able to present a fair case for yourself. Effective negotiation is about finding a win-win solution that fosters a positive working relationship and supports career growth.

Launch your next well-paying digital skills career

After working as a business analyst for years, Gåbriela Romanïni decided that she wanted to reinvigorate her love for her career and earn more to provide her and her son with a better life. She enrolled in the King’s Product Management Career Accelerator, and after only two months on the programme, she secured a new job with a much better salary. 

If you’re interested in sharpening your skills and earning more, take a look at our Career Accelerators. We’re on a mission to get you further in your career, faster, and provide you with the support you need to achieve your unique goals.

Find out more about the programmes on offer and how the combination of academic rigour, industry guidance, and executive career coaching can help set you on the path to making 2024 the year you earn what you deserve and more.

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