How to Negotiate Your Salary

April 07, 2014

shaking handsNegotiating a salary can be intimidating, but it’s critical for future raises and retirement. AAUW’s Start Smart and Work Smart programs are designed to empower women with the skills and confidence to successfully negotiate their salary and benefits packages. Here are five tips to get you started.

  1. Be objective.
  2. Know your market worth in the metropolitan area or zip code of the job you seek. Using market data, determine where your worth falls in the salary range for the job you seek based on your skills, experience, qualifications, responsibilities, and performance.

  3. Be persuasive.
  4. Practice the language you will use to persuade the interviewer of your value. Use the language of the employer’s products, services, and industry to explain your worth. Practice language to deal with possible objections to your worth.

  5. Be strategic.
  6. Know when to discuss your salary — and when NOT to do so. For example, don’t bring it up before you get a job offer; until then, there is nothing, salarywise, to discuss. Once you have a job offer, remember: They want YOU.

  7. Be flexible and listen.
  8. Listen carefully to every response. If you listen, you will learn what the employer needs, too; when you listen and learn, you can be flexible in how you get to the salary that reflects your worth.

  9. Keep the discussion going until you reach a mutually agreed-upon result.
  10. Salary negotiation is a discussion, and an ongoing one. If you don’t get to the salary that you determined reflects your worth, schedule a follow-up meeting to keep the discussion going. Learn from every experience you have in salary discussion! Salary negotiation is experiential learning.

This post was written by Evelyn Murphy, president of the WAGE Project.



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  1. […] If you find out that you’re underpaid… Negotiate your own salary. Need some tips? Click here. […]

  2. […] The pay gap is both a political and a personal issue. As more women become the primary breadwinners for their families, we benefit not just ourselves, but those we support and the economy as a whole when we learn to effectively negotiate for more money. […]

  3. […] can learn strategies to better negotiate for fair pay and benefits. Improved negotiation skills can help close the pay gap and help women start off on better footing and build retirement […]

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