Infographic | 1:37 min read

Navigating Your Salary Negotiation

Life Events

“What is your desired salary?”

That's a question you probably haven't heard before. As a newcomer to the workforce, you might be used to working at jobs that had a fixed salary when you applied. But now, salary negotiations will likely become a typical part of your life when applying for new jobs. Make sure you know how to navigate the conversation.

Step 1: Do your research
You'll want to at least seem like you know what you're talking about, even if you don't. Read up on the starting salaries for people in your field, and decide on a range that you think would make you happy.

Step 2: Be confident and courteous
You might be nervous, but as long as you completed step one, you should be able to feign coolness. Be yourself, but be work-appropriate. Read the room-if they aren't making jokes about what's in the headlines, you probably shouldn't either.

An infographic about how to navigate negotiating your salary

Step 3: Play the waiting game
Whoever speaks first will have a blind side. If they begin the conversation by asking you about your desired range, you're in a position of potentially asking them for less money than they intended to offer. Try responding to their question by asking, “What range are you expecting for an entry level employee?” Use your common sense to guide the discussion.

Step 4: Counter offer
Now that you have both stated your expectations, the real negotiations begin. The point of counter offers is to attempt to find a median where you will both be content. That being said, don't undervalue yourself. Make sure you decide on a situation where you will be happy.

Step 5: Discuss additional benefits
If you didn't score the top of your range in the salary negotiation, this is where you speak up. Ask about vacation time, telecommuting, and health benefits.

As intimidating as discussing money can be, you're about to start an extremely exciting period of your life. Go ahead and buy yourself something special with that paycheck-you earned it.


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