Salary Negotiation Tips | How to Secure the Compensation You Deserve

There are a lot of emotions around getting a new job. Between the pride of getting the job, the excitement, the apprehension, the nervousness, the idea of missing your team or old job, and the rushing about to get all your ducks in a row: it can make for a melting point of feelings. To add to all those conflicting emotions, you might be worrying about your new salary. Maybe it wasn’t discussed at the interview and has been forgotten about until you got the offer. Maybe you aren’t impressed with it but are impressed with the role. Maybe you feel backed into a corner. The reasons for you wanting to revisit the idea of your salary is no one’s business but your own, but to get the salary you want, you should prepare to deal with the awkward situation of salary negotiation.

If you’re ready to talk about how much you expect to be earning in this new role, take a look at our tips to help you prepare for your salary negotiation.

You still want to be likeable

You haven’t signed a contract. There are still a lot of things that can go wrong. It’s worth it to remember that you should go in with the attitude of asking for something, rather than demanding something.

Being likeable is important not least because you will simply endear people who you expect to be your new bosses and teammates while asking for a salary negotiation. This is one situation where you will get more flies with honey than vinegar. Being likeable about the conversation acknowledges that no one really wants to have the conversation, makes you seem less greedy or petty, and tells the negotiator that you both want to come to a mutual agreement.

Explain why you deserve this

Have your arguments ready and rehearsed. Your goal in this salary negotiation is to make the negotiator understand why you deserve what it is you’re asking for. You have to make them believe that it’s in their best interest to give you what you deserve.

Back up your desired amount, be that a solid number, an additional percentage, or a benefit like working from home two days a week, with a story. Outline why you as an employee deserve this and why it’s justified. Consider factors like your children’s schedule or extra experience or qualifications other team members don’t have.

While you are explaining all this in your salary negotiation, remember to emphasize that you are available and this employer can get you.

Understand the person you’re appealing to

You’re not negotiating with a company: you’re negotiating with a person. Therefore, they will also have their own story and their own priorities when it comes to this salary negotiation.

Understand what their interests and concerns are, taking into account their role in the company. For example, if salary negotiation falls to the HR representative rather than your expectant boss, you should be ready with a different approach. For example, you maybe should go easier on the “problems” of the job that might come off as petty to a new boss. However, a new boss might be more likely to pull strings than the HR who don’t want to break precedent.

Prepare for tough questions

We’re talking about money, which the world is notoriously unwilling to share, so you’re going to get a lot of tough questions during the salary negotiation to establish if you really deserve it. And it’s easy to slip up and say something detrimental when you’re not prepared. Be ready with answers to questions such as, whether or not you have other offers, or whether the company you’re negotiating with is your first choice or whether you’re willing to take the offer tomorrow.

Don’t lie, but also don’t try too hard and lose your leverage. Learn to answer questions without being defensive but explanatory.

Consider the package

Understand that salary negotiation and job negotiation are not the same thing. Don’t turn down a salary number that doesn’t meet your original pitch on instinct. You need to consider the job entirely as a package. Ask yourself if other elements that the job offers make up for the difference in salary, such as role, benefits, location, opportunities for growth, etc.


Salary negotiations are an awkward but important aspect of gaining or settling into your new job. It’s not fun to ask strangers who are soon to be friends and co-workers for money, but it’s necessary to get what you deserve.

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