Salary Negotiation Advice

By Danielle Wirsansky on June 23, 2021

We all have to work to make a living. College students in particular need money in order to afford their schooling. In order to make a living, however, you cannot just accept any old salary offered to you. You need to accept a salary that will support you and allow you to live and not just survive.

A lot of companies do not believe in salary transparency, which can make it hard to know if you can even afford to apply for a position or not. How can you know if you can take the job if you do not know how much it pays? Why waste your time going through an arduous interview process when you do not even know if you can afford to take the job on the off chance that they offer it to you?

If the salary is listed on a job posting, that helps give you an idea of where the employer’s head is at and how far they might be willing to negotiate with you. If the salary is not listed and you still choose to apply, you have to be ready to negotiate to get the salary that you want.

Negotiating salaries can be stressful and awkward but they are often necessary for you to get what you need. Not sure how to go about it? Read on for some salary negotiation advice!

Photo by Ketut Subiyanto from Pexels

Know What You Want

What you have to know before you start your salary negotiations is what you want. Whether you are holding this negotiation in person at the tail end of an interview or via email, you have to know what to ask for.

You need to be able to handle yourself confidently and to discuss this very important matter, even if it is hard. The salary is one of the most important components of the job—of course, you have to talk about it! When you act confident when you discuss salary expectations (even if you are not), it will help these potential employers take you more seriously. They will consider you a more serious candidate and more seriously discuss what they can do to nail you down in the role.

If you do not come in knowing what you want, you might accept an offer that in actuality is too low. You do not want to have to turn down a job after you have already accepted it (which is very unprofessional) or to be stuck in a job that does not pay you enough.

If they ask you for your salary expectations before telling you what salary the position you are interviewing for, you need to be confident in your answer choice because if you waffle or hem and haw, they will get the impression that you will accept any offer. This might lead them to offer you a less than competitive salary, perhaps even less than they were planning to or than you deserve, simply because they think they can get away with it. And if you were waffling, not sure how much to ask for or accept, then you might end up accepting this lowball offer.

Know Your Worth

Knowing your worth goes hand in hand with knowing what you want. Of course, you have to consider what you want or what you need in order to live monetarily, but then you have to think about your worth. How much are you worth to this employer? What skills do you bring to the table? How much experience do you have?

Perhaps all you need to survive from this job is $12 per hour. If you made that much, you could cover the expenses you need to. But are you perhaps worth more than $12 per hour, due to experience, skillset, and demand? How much are others you know who work in similar positions with similar skillsets and experience making? You do not have to accept a salary just because it is the one stated. That’s the whole point of the negotiation.

Many people feel uncomfortable negotiating and so they just accept the flat salary offer without saying anything about it. It might be too low. It might be just okay. But why be paid just an okay amount when you could be paid what you are worth from the blood, sweat, and tears you have put into your work experience in the past to get you to this point? Now is the time to earn the money that you deserve. Figure out what you are worth. Know your worth. And repeat it over and over again like a mantra as you negotiate. 

Photo by Pavel Danilyuk from Pexels

Negotiation salaries can be difficult for many different reasons. Knowing what you want and what you are worth though will definitely make a negotiation smoother, less stressful, and more likely to be successful.

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