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Why You Should Negotiate a Higher Salary

Mar 15, 2019

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You may love your job enough that you don’t factor money into the equation, but it’s no secret that the real reason most of us go to work is to get paid. Starting a new job and negotiating salary or trying to get a raise at your current job can be a daunting task, but you will be much happier in the long run if you feel like you are working for a fair paycheck. There is no better time to ask for a higher salary than when you get hired, even though it feels counter-intuitive. Here are some reasons you should always try and ask for higher pay.

Understand Your Profession
It is easy to research the average salary of someone in your position, but you need to understand what factors are used to come up with that average. If you walk in demanding higher than the average wage, you have to make a strong case as to why you deserve this salary. Take into account the cost of living in the area, how many hours you will be working, benefits, paid vacation, and how many other people want your position. If you are working and living in New York, you are going to need a higher salary than if you were living in Idaho just to cover the cost of living. Many people fear that the offer will be rescinded if they push for a higher salary, but most companies have wiggle room built into the budget of the position that they are trying to hire for. If the company does retract the offer, it can indicate a negative work environment that maybe you didn’t want to work for in the first place.

Understand Your Worth
It is a little bit unreasonable to believe that after working for a company for 6 months that you deserve a significant increase in pay. When you start a job, you should create a folder in your email or a physical file and keep track of every time someone at your company praises your work. You can also keep track of all of the large projects that you worked on that were completed successfully. Projects that you feel demonstrate your worth to the company that would not have been completed without you. When it comes time to speak with your boss about getting a raise, you will have compiled evidence to prove that you are a valuable asset to the company. Many people also make the mistake thinking that they will get a significant raise once yearly performance reviews roll around, but most of the time it is best to seize the opportunity the first time instead of playing it safe and working a whole year with less pay.

Understand Your Future
If you are applying to a new company, don’t use your old salary as a base for negotiation. If you allow people to know how much you are making currently, it may allow them to lowball you when it comes to a raise or a fixed income. If you feel like your experience is greater than what you are making, you can mention that in salary negotiations. Also, don’t just think about the base pay when you can exchange pay for other benefits like better healthcare, more vacation time, or flexible hours.

Salary negotiations can be a tricky thing to navigate. It can be hard and intimidating to convince your manager or H.R. to pay you more, especially face to face, but you never know if you don’t try. Remember to have confidence in yourself to go after what you want in life before it is too late.

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