How to negotiate your salary
Well, you’ve passed through all of the difficult parts, and there it is, sitting on the (virtual) table—a job offer. This is the moment you’ve been waiting for for so long, so why do you still have a knot in your stomach? Because there’s one final hurdle in front of you that needs to be cleared: your salary.
It’s common knowledge that employers tend to be more open to a higher salary increase when you’re entering a job compared to if you try negotiating a pay rise once you’re already in the role. In fact, a Glassdoor survey showed that in the US, two thirds of employees accept the salary they are offered without negotiating. This affects underrepresented groups even more in the workplace, and is an inequality that needs to be tackled on every side of the process. So, what’s the biggest step you can take towards advocating for the salary you deserve?
Knowledge is power. With this in mind, the most important thing to do when learning how to negotiate your salary is research. If you’re changing to a new career, doing your research is vital so that you know that the salary being offered is even in the right ballpark. Thankfully in tech there are a lot of resources to find out what the going rate is in your area. On recruitment websites such as Indeed, Glassdoor, and others, you can filter by city and industry, as well as whether the role is junior, mid-level, or senior. So, no matter what job title you want to find the salary for, it should only take a few clicks of the mouse to show you what you should be getting paid. If you’re considering a career in tech, you can also refer to these salary guides:
- What is the average full-stack developer salary?
- How much could you earn as a data analyst?
- What’s the average UX designer salary?
- How much could you earn as a UI designer?
Once you’ve determined the average salary for your position, it’s time to take a look closer to home. What is your own personal red line when it comes to minimum salary?
This is key when learning how to negotiate salary, as it gives you a complete baseline to work off. If the average wage for the role is below this, then it’s time to reevaluate. After that, if the company you’re negotiating with refuses to reach your minimum requirements, then it’s time to consider walking away from the table.
Next up, and the final piece in the puzzle, is learning how to communicate your desired salary to your potential employer. Instead of getting sucked down an internet rabbit-hole of “The art of negotiating,” keep it simple.
In your preparation, set out your reasons for why you deserve a higher salary, with results to back this up. It doesn’t matter that this previous role was in another field—it’s about showing that you’ve added value in the past. Remember to draw attention to your industry experience, skills, and certifications, as well as the average market salaries you researched. Remember: If you are offering a salary range, start at the higher end of the range, but allow for the expectation that they will try and meet you in the middle.
Once you’ve gathered all of this information together, the last step is to practice negotiating. Either by yourself or with a friend, rehearse going through the reasons and convincing them why you deserve a certain salary. Our final piece of advice is don’t be afraid to advocate for yourself. No-one else is going to do it for you. This tactic will really pay off when entering a typically well-paid tech role such as UX or UI designer, data analyst, or web developer, so get researching and rehearsing!
Career Specialist at CareerFoundry
Susan Clark is an independent consultant in higher education. Driven to improve student success, she became a career specialist at CareerFoundry and started an alumni mentorship program at her alma mater to help others reach their professional objectives. Susan utilizes her network in recruitment and human resources, to make sure those she mentors stay up to date with the latest knowledge and practices.Susan has a background in marketing and journalism, is originally from the US, and now resides in Berlin with her cat. In her free time, she likes to read and knit. Pre-corona, she adored traveling and going out for brunch.