5 mins read

Know Your Worth and Negotiate Your Salary Like a Pro!

When searching for a new job, there’s one topic of conversation that many young professionals find tricky: salary negotiation. If you find the idea of negotiating your wage nerve-wracking, you’re certainly not alone. However, that doesn’t mean it isn’t an important skill to master.  

Keep reading to discover our top salary negotiation tips to add to your tool belt, as well as some compelling reasons why it isn’t as scary as you might think! 

Why Should You Negotiate Your Salary 

In a study done by Indeed, 58% of respondents claim to never, or rarely ever, initiate salary negotiations and trust us, you’ll want to be in the remaining 42%. Those who negotiate their salaries are much more likely to secure a better pay rate than those who don’t. What’s more, 70% of managers expect candidates to negotiate their salary and benefits, so you may as well ask!  

These kinds of conversations may feel scary, but they happen often, and great managers won’t blame you for knowing your worth. If you think you’re ready to dive into a salary negotiation discussion, read on; we have a tonne of tips for great negotiation skills and career advancement! 

Hone Your People Skills 

This tip might seem a little simple, but having strong interpersonal skills is the key to successful salary negotiations.  It’s important that you’re seen as reasonable and approachable during your meeting, so be prepared to listen to what your manager has to say and remain positive – it is a two-way conversation after all! The more entitled, greedy, or ungrateful you act during negotiation situations, the less likely the other side is to fight to get you a better offer.  

Establish Rapport 

If you have opportunities to engage with your manager directly, ensure you’re making a great impression. When your manager witnesses how dedicated, responsible, reliable and skilled you are, they’re going to be much more amenable when you ask for a pay increase. In fact, maintaining a spot in your manager’s good books might even help with overall career advancement too! 

Know Who You’re Dealing With 

This tip relates to your ability to get inside the head of the person who decides your compensation-related fate. By taking time to understand what they value most (and also what they don’t like), it’ll be a whole lot easier to figure out the perfect angle to take.  

It’s also worth considering the position of the person you’re negotiating with. Harvard Business Review states that negotiating with a prospective boss is very different from negotiating with an HR representative. While the former directly benefits from your presence at the company and is, therefore, personally involved, HR reps are able to maintain an unbiased perspective and may be less likely to break precedent. Understanding these dynamics is key to formulating your salary negotiation strategy.   

student researching salary rangeLevel Up Your Negotiation Skills 

When you’ve perfected your people skills, the next step is to refine your bargaining abilities. There are lots of qualities and strategies utilised by successful negotiators, but here are some unmissable ones:  

Research the Job Market 

If you’re running to your manager for a pay raise but don’t even know what you should be asking for, you’re definitely not ready to start the salary negotiation process.  

The very first step you must take when planning a compensation conversation is researching the average pay for your position. Find this out by googling [your industry/job title] + salary Australia. There are plenty of websites with pay rate information on all kinds of industries (if you’re stuck, try checking out Indeed and Glassdoor!) 

Ask for the Top of Your Range 

Once you’ve figured out where your pay range should be, you’ll want to ask for a number at the high end of the pay spectrum (or, at the least, a number that’s just a little higher than your minimum increase). This way, there’s plenty of room for negotiation if the company comes back with a lower rate of compensation 

Negotiate The Entire Package 

If you have a couple of different requests that you want to secure, make sure to present them all at once. For instance, if you’re wanting a raise and the ability to work from home on certain days, don’t get one accepted before following up with the other; do it all in one go! 

Doing the opposite way shows poor negotiation skills and will likely irk the hiring manager, thus making them less likely to accept your requests. 

Understand Constraints 

We all know that the economy isn’t in a great place right now, and most of us feel the pinch of a rapidly rising cost of living. While you might feel that a higher salary is only fair, remember that not every company can give you the compensation you need.  

By understanding the financial constraints of the people you’re negotiating with, you’ll find it easier to pick a fair rate for both parties (or, alternatively, decide that the job might not be for you). 

Pick Your Fight 

While it can be fun to flex your negotiation skills, remember that salary negotiation isn’t always necessary.  

Picture this: You’ve just received a job offer from your dream company. They’ve offered well above market rate, they allow you to work from home multiple days per week, and you get access to a work phone and laptop. In this situation, any negotiation will likely come across as greedy, so go with the original deal. In short, don’t negotiate just for the sake of negotiating.  

Don’t Offer Ultimatums 

This tip links back to the idea of being likeable; forcing ultimatums on your boss definitely isn’t likable. People don’t like being told, ‘Give me this or face the repercussions!’ It’s an understandable irk, but it can be tricky to avoid in certain situations.  

If you need a certain wage to accept a role, or if you’ve been offered a better wage from another company and need it to be met, try to downplay the ultimatum aspect of this and show humility. It’ll come across way better than any kind of arrogant approach.  

student in salary negotiation

Highlight Your Worth 

Another skill of successful salary negotiators is being capable of showing their worth. If you’re asking for something, you need to back up why you deserve it. To do so, try using some of these prompts: 

  • Your years of industry experience 
  • Your leadership experience 
  • Your education level 
  • Your career level 
  • Your skills 
  • Your licenses and certifications 
  • Your achievements 

By sharing how successful you are, you’ll come across as someone who’s much more deserving of a salary increase. Remember, you must give to get. 

With these expert negotiating tips under your belt, you’re ready to go forth and secure your dream salary. We believe in you, and you should believe in yourself too! 

Want to keep learning? Explore our best early-career advice offerings, today! 


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