How to negotiate your salary

26th November 2019

Salary negotiations can be daunting, no matter if you've been in the situation before, or not. Here are a few words of advice to prepare yourself!

What is a salary negotiation?

Salary negotiations are discussions held between yourself and your Manager or an appropriate representative of your employer to open up conversations about a pay rise. No matter if you’re a long-serving employee, or have just started fairly recently if you believe your salary isn’t enough; you have a right to ask for more.

Before arranging a meeting to discuss this, you will want to ensure you’re prepared and have built a case as to why you believe are worth investing more money into.

Negotiations can sometimes feel like uncharted territory, especially if you’ve never asked for a pay rise before! Below are a few tips to prepare yourself:

Find out what you’re worth

Research, research, research! Have a look at job sites to see what other companies within similar industries are paying. It is also worthwhile having a look for online salary surveys for information too. Remember, whilst looking at other companies to compare salaries, ensure you’re looking local to your location as you will find that for what Birmingham pay for one job, London will pay a different salary to.

A negotiation is not an argument and shouldn’t be used as an opportunity for one

Use this opportunity to have a productive, collaborative conversation that feels right to both yourself and the company.

Keep it professional

You shouldn’t use personal financial issues, like loans or debts as a reason for your negotiation. Your experience, work and determination should be the reason for a salary increase.

Be confident

If you feel strongly that you deserve more money and would like a pay rise, be confident in your decision. When in a negotiation, it’s easy to start doubting yourself and your worth – don’t let this get to you. Stay confident with your choice.

Seek advice

If you’re feeling like you may want some reassurance, seek advice from family and friends to see if they agree with your decision to ask for more. Those closest to you will be able to help give you a boost in confidence.

If it’s not in writing, it didn’t happen

Always get everything in writing. Once you’ve settled on your new salary, along with a job description and a list of any additional responsibilities (if any) remember to get this in writing signed by your employer as HR / Payroll departments normally require a signed document to proceed with an increase of salary.

Talk to Recruiters

Recruiters specialising in your field know the industry, experience and expertise required so remember to use this to your advantage!

Be prepared for a ‘No’

No matter how prepared you are or how well you came across, the answer still may be a ‘no’.

Understandably, this is frustrating and not the anticipated result you were after. However, remain calm – getting upset isn’t going to help the situation.

Ask questions as to why it was a ‘no’. The reason may not be down to your performance, but instead, just be bad timing for the company financially, for example, yearend when budgets for the next financial year are being set.

Don’t lose hope

A ‘no’ can be disheartening, don’t let it get you down. If you feel like you are worth more, but don’t feel as if you will get what you want with your current employer, maybe start looking for a career move? If this isn’t viable or your not looking to leave – stick with it. Whatever you decide to do, don’t let the result detur you. Just because they’ve said ‘no’ in this instance, doesn’t mean they won’t say ‘yes’ in the future. Once you’ve had your meeting, ask for a review of the decision to be scheduled for the future where maybe, you’ll get the result you were looking for.