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Tips to Negotiate a Higher Starting Salary

In life, everything is negotiable and starting salaries in a new position are no exception. Regardless of whether you are returning to the workforce after staying home with your kids or you're trying to uplevel your job, you are a knowledgeable professional. Know your worth. You have experience under your belt and other valuable skills that employers should be charged a premium for utilizing.

Give yourself your worth by negotiating your starting salary within a new company. Not only will it put you on a better financial footing, but it'll also make you seem like an ambitious businessperson.

5 tips to confidently and successfully negotiate a higher starting salary:

  1. Be prepared. Negotiation is all about the legwork. Do your research on the company, their current salary offerings, and the average salary in your locality. If this is your first time negotiating a salary or your first time in a while, it can be daunting. Practice with a friend or family member to give you confidence when you are meeting with your future employer.

  2. Don't overshare. If you're too forthcoming about your salary requirements, you may come off as desperate. Desperation is something that turns an employer off - big time. Furthermore, you may lock yourself into a lower starting salary simply because you've given too much information about your salary requirements before the employer has even had a chance to assess your value.  
  3. Remember that it's not about you. Companies hire employees based on what the candidate has to offer the company, not the other way around. Yet, so many candidates choose to exaggerate the fact of how they've always dreamt of landing this job, what the position will mean to them, and more. Rather than focusing on what a life-changing experience this is for you, make it known that you're right for the job because you have a proven track record of saving money, increasing profits, improving employee performance, or some other benefit for the company. 
  4. Don't jump at the first offer. It's unlikely that the first offer you're presented with is their absolute best. It's possible, but not probable. If an employer says they're ready to offer you $55,000, keep cool, calm and collected - even if the offer is much lower or higher than you were expecting. Wait a few seconds to see if they adjust the offer, and if not, counter with a higher figure. There's no need to play hardball, just be firm in your approach. If you're offered $55,000 and you know you're worth $65,000, ask for $65,000. The worst that can happen is that you'll be told that $55,000 is their absolute maximum budget. You can still take the offer as long as it's on the table. 
  5. Take the offer. If all of your negotiation tactics have failed and you needed the job yesterday, take the offer. But ask the employer to analyze your performance within six months in order to possibly negotiate a raise. With an offer like this, the employer has nothing to lose. If you are truly as good as you think you are, you'll be able to slash their costs, improve staff productivity, or increase sales, and they will be able to afford to offer you a raise.

If the job is being offered to you anyways, why not try to make it as profitable as can be? If you want help brainstorming how to handle your negotiations, join us in the Watch Her Thrive Facebook group.

Related post: Facing Your Fear: How to Ask for a Raise When You're Underpaid