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How to negotiate a salary for a new job 

Published: Friday 21st August 2020

Starting a new job can be a tremendous thrill and a source of great relief too. You have come through the application process, managed to survive a daunting interview process and now you’re ready to show your new employer what you can do. However, there is still the matter of agreeing your starting salary and although you may have a decent idea how much the job will pay, you may feel that you are worth more than that. Many companies will factor in some level of negotiation into their salary offers, but surprisingly – or perhaps not – a lot of new employees don’t feel they can ask for more. 

Negotiating a salary after an initial job offer can require a degree of self-confidence, but there’s no need to let fear overrule the inner-belief of what you are worth. Here are a few tips on how to negotiate a salary for a new job. 

Do your research when searching for a new job

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Before you begin to negotiate a salary for a new job, you need to have a reliable frame of reference. You should start by researching what similar jobs in your industry pay and set your negotiating figure based on that. If a starting salary has already been stated in the advertisement for the job, that doesn’t mean you have to accept that figure. With a little research, you can find out if the figure quoted is less than what you should expect for the job you have been offered. 

Sell yourself 

While it is perfectly fine to ask for a salary you feel justifies your ability, you need to convince your new employer of that fact as well. Let them know that they will be getting for their investment in you. You will likely have already been given the chance to sell yourself in your job interview, but a salary negotiation is a chance to drill down into how you can be an asset to the company. 

You should go into a negotiation armed with figures which will highlight how much your skills are worth and this can form the basis of the salary you have in mind. Let them know how much value you will bring to their company and that the salary you are asking for when starting a new job will pay off for them in the long run.  

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Aim high to get a new job

You should go into a salary negotiation with what you consider to be an acceptable figure. However in order to leave a little wiggle room for bargaining, you should pitch a little higher. Think of your ideal number and then add about 3-5% onto it. That is the figure you should go into your salary negotiation with, knowing that there is a fair chance it will get turned down. That then gives you the opportunity to ‘settle’ for your ideal amount and give the appearance that you have compromised.  

Play it cool 

You should remember at all times during a salary negotiation that these are the people who have given you a job offer. Do not be aggressive or antagonistic towards them as this is a sure way to get off on the wrong foot with your new employer.  Always act politely and positively and don’t talk negatively about other people in the organisation as a way to justify your own salary demands.  

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