Posted July 19, 2021

Get What You Deserve! Tips for Negotiating your Salary and Job Offer

Get What You Deserve! Tips for Negotiating your Salary and Job Offer
By Sarah Mehlert

Whether you are an entry-level professional just entering the workforce, or a seasoned vet looking to persuade your manager into giving you a raise, the thought of negotiating your salary can be intimidating. On the one hand, you want your pay to reflect the value that you bring to the company, and what you need to live comfortably. On the other hand, you don’t want to come off as arrogant or risk being turned down completely. Before you begin negotiating, you’ll need to prepare yourself so that you can go in with confidence and the knowledge that you need in order to get what you deserve. While every situation is unique, there are some basic principles and strategies that could go a long way in getting you that higher salary.

First and foremost, consider more than just salary. What benefits does the company offer? Are there stock options for employees? Do they offer bonuses? Sometimes, it may be wiser to accept a job with a lower paying salary that offers more comprehensive benefits, than vice versa. Once you factor in how much those benefits would cost you if they weren’t offered, you may see that the out-of-pocket cost would end up costing you more than would be worth it for a higher paying salary. Keep in mind that some companies have firm salary caps that they simply cannot exceed, but may have some room to negotiate when it comes to benefits such as paid time off, working from home, etc. Decide what is most important to you and go from there. Consider other factors as well, such as opportunity for growth at the company and of course, how happy you are or would be working there. If the company has a low salary and no opportunity for growth, it may be smart to look elsewhere. However, if you can get by for a while on the salary they are offering, with the understanding that there is great room for growth and pay raises in the near future, you may decide to wait it out, given that the salary is enough for you to live off of and isn’t drastically undervaluing you.

Before you enter negotiations, you’ll also want to get an idea of what the market value is for your role. Do some research on industry standards for your position in your city and state. Make sure to factor in things like education, years of experience, and any additional trainings you have completed. There are plenty of salary comparison websites and for some companies, you may even be able to see average salaries for current employees. Be sure not to go into negotiations without completing this step – you could be asking for an unreasonably high number, or even worse, seriously undervalue yourself. Once negotiations begin, make sure the manager or HR associate knows that you have done your research and have done so thoroughly.

Once you are prepared and ready to negotiate your salary, keep in mind a few ground rules to ensure success. Aside from the market value for your position, come armed with several reasons why you deserve a higher salary. Make sure to communicate your value to the team and the overall business. Even if you don’t have a ton of industry experience, think of some specific strengths that would benefit the company and that are unique to you. This could involve things like extra certifications, internships, college courses, or just your passion for and knowledge of the industry. If you have been in your role for a while, you can discuss certain projects you have worked on that have been profitable for the company or times you have gone above and beyond to ensure success. When all is said and done, your manager needs to be convinced that you deserve what you are asking for and like you enough to give it to you. Be polite, but also be firm in saying what you need.

If you have higher paying job offers that you want to use as leverage to negotiate a higher salary at your preferred employer, make sure that the manager there knows that it is in fact your preferred employer. It may seem like a great idea to show the hiring manager how many other companies want you and what they’re willing to give you, but if they are going to fight to get you, they want to know that you will end up saying yes to their offer. Oftentimes, your manager will have to get approval from higher-ups to increase the salary or benefits for a position, and if they think you are just going to take another offer anyways, it may not be worth it for them to even try. After you present the other offers you have, make sure to explain why you would be willing to turn them down and under what conditions. Most importantly, don’t lie about having other offers just to build a stronger case for yourself. This could seriously backfire and leave you with no job prospects at all, should the negotiations not work out in your favor.

Before, during and after the negotiation process it is important to consider what is truly important to you. You shouldn’t negotiate just to negotiate; pick and choose what your non-starters are and go from there. If there are multiple areas in the job offer that concern you, it is best to lay out all your requests at once, in order of importance. If you ask for them one at a time, it will drag out the process and may not sit well with the hiring manager. If you don’t communicate what is most important to you, they may leave those factors out of the final offer. You should also be prepared for HR or the hiring manager to ask you tough questions; after all, they are making an investment in you and want to be sure that it will pay off. Some questions may make you feel defensive or uncomfortable. The more you can prepare for these, the better chance you have of not diminishing yourself or exposing your weaknesses. Be honest and remain firm in your convictions. If an employer isn’t able to give you what you need and deserve, it may be best to walk away.

Negotiations can be tough to master. There is a fine line between knowing your worth and asking for it and asking for more just for the sake of it. Before anything, inform yourself of industry standards of pay and consider what you value in an employer. Even if you are a recent grad looking for your first job, you don’t have to settle for a job that won’t even pay your bills. If you have been in your profession for the long haul and want to negotiate your salary, you will have more leverage to do so but it still won’t come without its challenges. Remember that you can negotiate more than salary; if your company has firm salary caps that just aren’t flexible, consider negotiating for more paid time off, work from home days, or bonuses. Above all else, make sure to communicate your value, make it known that you want to work for the company you are negotiating with and be prepared to defend your worth, without coming across as hostile. Your satisfaction in the role is ultimately what is most important, so always keep that in mind. If you are ready to start your job hunt and get the offer you deserve in the logistics and supply chain industry, begin your search today on!