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4 strategies to negotiate a better salary

Sharon Florentine | June 4, 2015
Salary negotiation is nerve-wracking, whether you've landed a new job or are angling for a raise at your current employer. Here are four strategies to help your next salary or raise negotiation end successfully.

If you're negotiating a starting salary at a new position, try to avoid listing your salary history, as this could negatively affect an offer — if you've been underpaid in the past, your potential employer could use that as a basis for a lowball offer, according to Frank, and that can put you at a disadvantage right off the bat.

"...if you have a target number in mind that you think is fair, make your request a little bit higher — but don't go completely over-the-top — and, hopefully, the final agreed-upon number will wind up being your initial target," says Joseph.

4. Don't just consider salary

Finally, if your salary requirement is rejected, don't lose hope. See what other options you have to negotiate benefits and perks. "Remember, it's not just about salary; it's a compensation package. If you end up with a higher salary but horrible benefits, you'll end up paying for that out of pocket — things like healthcare, vacation time, matching 401k programs, gym memberships," says Frank.

It's also worth asking if, in lieu of a higher salary, the company will allow remote work or flexible work opportunities, says Joseph. Or, see if there's a bonus initiative in place. "Bonus incentives can be great for both parties because it allows for a system of checks and balances — the harder you work and the more you accomplish, the higher your year-end bonus, while the company benefits from your increased efforts, she says.

Sometimes it can be worth taking a lower salary if a company covers those costs, or offers remote work or other benefits; especially if there's a growth opportunity that will further your career.

"Where do you want to be a few years down the road? If you're looking at two competing offers, don't discount a company offering lower salary but that will give you the best path to growth," Frank says.


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