How to Prepare for Salary Negotiations

Salary negotiations can be really stressful. There’s a lot of pressure to try for a big salary leap, but without offending your bosses. You don’t want to walk away feeling like you got cheated out of what you deserve, especially if you’ve really worked hard this year and you have mounting expenses at home. Here’s how to come prepared for your salary negotiations so that everyone leaves happy.

Do your research

Look up the salary range for the position for someone with similar experience and skills. You can use Glassdoor, Indeed,, and PayScale to look up salaries in your industry or company. And don’t hesitate to ask colleagues and friends what they think is appropriate. The more prepared you are, the more confident you’ll feel during the process, and the more likely you are to walk away happy.

Know what you’re worth

You know your skills and assets and what value you add to the company, so be prepared to talk about your strengths. If you’re more qualified than some of your colleagues because of a certification you earned or some extra training you’ve received, be prepared to ask for more. On the other hand, if you lack critical experience or you’ve struggled to find your footing the last few months, don’t expect to be rewarded with a high number. But have a bottom line in mind and know what number will cover your monthly expenses.

Don’t throw out the first number

When they ask you what your ideal salary is, you can simply reply the salary would depend on what the benefits package is. Or stall a little longer and ask if you’ll have any change in responsibilities and what those might be. If they insist that you suggest a number, give a range, not a target number, but make your range precise. For example, suggest somewhere between $59,500 and $74,900. By suggesting such a precise range, you show that you’ve done credible research and you know what you need.

Be prepared to walk away

You already know your absolute bottom line number, so if their final number is lower than your bottom line, be prepared to say no. You know what number you need to live and thanks to your research, you know what salaries you could be earning elsewhere. If you feel like you’re not being treated fairly, have your resume and list of references ready so you can start job searching elsewhere.

Negotiate benefits

Sometimes it’s not even about a salary number. Sometimes those benefits and perks and other intangibles are far important to you than the salary. If that’s the case, be prepared to ask for those. It might mean a lesser salary in exchange for better healthcare, equity in the company, or even the chance to work from home here and there. Know what’s most important to you and what you can and can’t live with.

For more tips on preparing for salary negotiations, contact Pridestaff Thousand Oaks today.

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