How to Negotiate for a Higher Salary at a New Job

“Ask for more and receive exactly what you want.”

That piece of advice has become somewhat a cliche. It is a simplistic representation of an interaction which is often nerve wracking and professionally contentious.  Receiving what you want from the world around you greatly depends on how you go about in asking for those things. Many factors play into your success while negotiating for a higher salary. Whilst on your journey to receive what’s fair, you’ll need to conduct yourself in a manner which entices those you’re negotiating with to agree to your requests. 

This article hopes to present points to remember when negotiating for a higher salary with your employers.

It is by no means a full-encompassing portrayal of all the subtleties you’ll be forced to navigate around during the process. The intention on this page is to present general yet memorable, practical, and effective things to remember. 

 


Be Honest With Your Reasons


When you begin your task in asking for something which has not been given to you as of yet, you should be honest in your intentions. Be honest with both yourself and your listeners.

Honesty, in this case, takes form of expressing all the motives at play surrounding the ask at hand. Express to your listeners what your reasoning is for wanting what you are asking for. This blatant truth will be a breath of fresh air and is a welcomed difference from people who try to sugarcoat their demands with obscure and unrealistic reasons. 

Total honestly in explaining the reasons why you’re asking for more shows your listener that you wholly believe in your qualifications in receiving these demands. A person who believes that they deserve what they are asking for does not worry about letting all his/her intentions known.

They are confident that their reasons warrant asking and receiving more than they are currently being offered. If you feel like you deserve as much as others are getting, then say so. Tell your listener your motives even if they are embarrassing or upsetting. Pretense the monetary amounts that you are asking for with absolute honesty and ensure your public and private reasons align in truth.

For this step in the process to work, you might need to come to the table with factual evidence behind your intentions. If you have determined that there are facts backing your argument for asking for more, this is the step where you should present these facts. Facts are a part of forming the reasons for why you are asking for what you are. So do not withhold any factual evidence, and present your evidence to align with the honest motives which you have presented.

 


Ask for the Best Case


When you make your intentions clear and understood by all parties involved, it becomes time to ask for whatever it is that you are asking for. Before you do so, you need to clearly establish – for yourself – what will be nice to have and what you absolutely need without compromise. This is the only information that you should withhold from your listeners. This information will form your initial request. Ask for what you have determined will be nice to have. Expect your listeners to always negotiate in the process of asking for more, so play it safe by asking for what you think would be nice to have but not absolutely necessary. 

Everything we desire can be made just a little bit better. The “a little bit better” goal would comprise the foundation of your initial request. Don’t make that request unrealistic. You should thoroughly still feel that you deserve what you are asking for. If the world was absolutely fair and equal, this would be the price you get paid for your services. We all deserve nicer things, getting them is a different story. Ask for what you would get paid in a Utopian society. As you do, keep reminding yourself of what price you will absolutely not settle for. Know your threshold of necessity as those you negotiate with try to chip away at the price you deemed to comprise the best case scenario. 

 


Be Willing to Leave Some Money at the Table


Your negotiations with a potential employer should not take away from the quality of your mutual relationship down the line. Being too hardheaded during the negotiation process will serve as a window into your thought processes for your employers to analyze. Being unwilling to give into the good reasoning presented by those you’re negotiating with won’t benefit you down the line.

A little leniency goes a long ways during the negotiation process. Your character will be judged during this time. The reputation you develop in the perception of those you’re negotiating with will be sensitive to subtlety.  

Remember, a negotiation with a potential employer is a team exercise. You are not acting as a solo agent against those who seek to exploit you. Rather, you would be working together to come to a mutual agreement. This exercise will not be any different from the meetings you hold / take part in with your teams down the line. Your abilities to reason, understand, empathize, and correct yourself will shine brightest during the negotiation process. 

If those you’re negotiating with present good reasons for not awarding you what you ask for, don’t be hesitant to acknowledge those good reasons. Ensure that the process of negotiating for a salary you desire doesn’t put a dent in your reputation of being an empathetic team player. The quality of your future relationships with certain individuals matters more than what rate you work for in the present day. Your salaries will increase as you venture down your career path not because of how you negotiate, but because of how many good relationships you build.

 


The Absolute Necessity 


If you receive what you ask for in your initial request, then great. If you settle for a salary which is slightly lower than your best case scenario, it’s not the end of the world. However, if you were met with a lot of push-back, then you need to have your firm stance readied. You have three options for ending your negotiations. Those three options only include receiving: what is nice to have, what’s less than nice but still good, and what is absolutely necessary.

Receiving less that what you deem to be absolutely necessary is simply not an option. Be ready and willing to walk away from your negotiations if those you’re negotiating with fail to recognize, without exception, the lowest line you just can’t cross. 

If your nice-to-have ask has been declined, present the case of absolute necessity. Explain that this is the absolute minimum that you will settle for, and remind them of your motives and evidence for your request. You will never be able to force people to empathize with you and give you what you want. But these steps ensure you present your case with the highest possible chances of success. Of course, you need to sprinkle in little details that have to do with your specific situation which has not been captured in this article, but the framework of your demands should stay the same. 

Book Recommendation: 

Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It



Disclaimer of Opinion: This article is presented only as opinion. It does not make any scientific, factual, or legal claims in any way.