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5 Steps To Set And Negotiate Your Salary

Get and Know What You Deserve

Last month, we witnessed a hiring recruiter bragging about scamming a woman professional and potential employee out of her deserved salary.

The recruiter posted she offered the jobseeker an $85,000 salary even though the company had a budget of $130,000 for the position, stating that, "I offered her that because that's what she asked for and I personally don't have the bandwidth to give lessons on salary negotiation,"

"Here's the lesson: 'ALWAYS ASK FOR THE SALARY YOU WANT (DESERVE), no matter how large you think it might be."

When you are a new professional or changing industries, knowing what you deserve may not be so obvious. Read on five quick and easy steps to properly set and negotiate the salary you deserve.

Research Market Salary Trends

Every role has a general market value. You need to enter a salary negotiation as informed as possible. Information is your strongest ally. Use resources and websites like Robert Half Salary Guide and Indeed Salaries to learn the salary range for your job and industry on

Consider your current salary, bonuses, and benefits when researching salary trends.

Use your research on market trends to help set your desired salary. Researching salary trends will help you set a realistic target to not oversell or undersell yourself.

This is particularly important if you are making a career change or interviewing at a company whose compensation structure differs from your current or previous employer. This will help you articulate your skills' value and how and why you should be compensated in your desired manner.

Evaluate What You Have To Offer

Knowing what you deserve is directly linked to what you have to offer. This is why it is essential to know how much value you can bring an employer before you begin negotiating a salary. Consider the below factors that can influence your compensation:

  • Location: Consider the cost of living and market location of residence. For example, you might require a higher salary in New York than Arizona for the same set of roles because of the cost of living.

  • Years of industry/relevant experience: Does the role requires 3-5 years of experience, and do you meet the higher requirement? This may warrant a higher salary.

  • Licenses and certifications: If you already have specific licenses or certifications required for the role, you may be able to request greater compensation.

  • Skills: Technical and niche skills attract higher salaries. When you begin your salary negotiation, be sure to emphasize your technical and niche skills as a valuable asset to the company to help justify your desired salary.

Ask For The Salary Range

Before answering the recruiters, question, "What are your salary requirements," ask what the salary range for this position is. Explicitly asking for a range will help you understand how to properly negotiate your starting salary and the max you can make in the role.

“I’m excited about this opportunity. If we decide to work together, I’m sure we’d find a salary that matches the value I’ll bring to your organization. Can you give me an idea of what you’ve already budgeted for this position?”

Set Your Minimum Salary Requirement

Before you get the job offer, set your minimum acceptable salary. Deciding on your minimum amount of a new job or career change will help prevent you from talking yourself out of a higher salary during a touch negotiation.

Also, setting a minimum salary in advance gives you leverage when negotiating. Researching current salary trends to help set the number is helpful. However, your minimum salary is a subjective, personal decision only you can make. Decide, “What is the minimum salary I need to leave my current situation and take this job?”

Do not rush to set the number. And when the number is finalized, try not to change it unless new relevant information is discovered.

Always Ask for More Than What You Want

You should always ask for more than you actually want! Remember, this is a negotiation. The worst that can happen is that the you will receive a counteroffer. Do not fear that you asking for too much - you just might get it!

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