Negotiating a New Job’s Salary

Often when receiving a job offer, candidates are eager to sign on the dotted line. Maybe they’ve been with out work for awhile, maybe it is an increase in pay, or maybe it is simply a better commute.

It is important to remember though, that the most important time in salary negotiations are those early meetings. Be prepared and act confident, it can mean a huge difference in your future lifestyle.

Here is some advice to help you land not just the gig, but the salary that you dream of 🙂

Give a Range

The general rule of thumb in negotiations is that the first person to name a number loses. Unfortunately, most people know this and it can quickly lead to nonproductive encounters. If you are in a position where you are expected to name a number, give the range that you are comfortable with. Research salaries in your area using sites like This will also allow the conversation to move forward so you can learn all the new costs associated with the gig.

Know the Costs

Make sure to factor in all the expenses your new position will require. Will you need a new wardrobe? Does it require you to pay tolls on your commute? Is there overtime pay? What’s the health insurance like? Are you going to have to worry about your own retirement package? Total compensation is important in determining the salary that you require for accepting the job. Don’t sell yourself short.

Be Bold

Fortune favors the bold. Especially if the bold has previous experience. Remember that managers are trying to keep their costs low. Salaries can often represent the largest cost within a company. If you have a target number in mind, always respond with something higher. Remember one key thing — If they say no, negotiations are not over. If they say yes, the negotiation period is finished. Many companies have policies that prevent salary increases over certain percentages. You may only grow 4-5% a year once employed by the company. During negotiations, this can be achieved in seconds. Be bold. You owe it to yourself and your family.

Consider Growth Potential

A high salary may mean nothing if you are not learning skills to use later on in your career. Sadly, the concept of a life long position is a disappearing notion. Always try to search out positions that will train you for your next job and improve your resume. If a job has a lower than expected salary, but a ton of growth potential and training, it may be worth considering, especially if you are lacking experience.

Outline Key Goals

Another strong tactic is to work out an outline of suggested accomplishments. Negotiate a follow up meeting for an early review at the 6 month period. When the time comes, be prepared to show how you’ve accomplished each of the agreed upon milestones. You’ll be able to make the case for a higher salary after proving yourself.