10 Must-Know Tips for Your First (or Next) Round of Salary Negotiations

salary negotiationsYesterday, we presented an infographic that discussed how to talk about salary negotiations with your employer. Today, we’re happy to present some been-there-done-that advice from fellow young professionals on how best to win a “yes” answer when asking for a raise…

For even the most hardened workforce veteran, salary negotiations can be stressful. For a young pro, negotiating that first salary bump can be excruciating. To make that process less stressful and more productive, we asked members of the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) this question:

What is your best advice for young professionals when entering their first (or next) round of salary negotiations?

Here are their carefully considered answers…

1. Consider the Additional Workload

Always make sure you’re getting paid the right price, for the right job. That means you should always think about the additional workload you could take on when negotiating your salary. Some employers may offer you a higher salary, but put additional tasks and responsibilities on your plate you didn’t anticipate.

Blair Williams, MemberPress

2. Be Confident

Talking about money can sometimes be uncomfortable, but when negotiating your salary it’s important to approach the conversation with confidence. Know your worth — you don’t want to undervalue yourself just because you’re afraid to ask for what you want. Also, research the going rate for your position and industry so that you walk in with numbers to back you up.

Stephanie Wells, Formidable Forms

3. Think Beyond Money

When negotiating your salary, remember to think beyond money. If you’re not able to get your prospective employer to budge on salary, consider other things you can negotiate for such as extra vacation days, medical and dental benefits, continuing education opportunities and so on. After all, benefits negotiation can be just as valuable as direct compensation.

John Turner, SeedProd LLC

4. Fight Your Impostor Syndrome

It can be hard to shake off the feeling that you might not deserve the salary you are asking for. The result? You can end up settling for a lower amount. Know your worth. Be confident in your skills and expertise. Most important: Shake off the impostor syndrome and stand your ground. Yes, overinflating your self-worth is bad. But undermining yourself doesn’t pay.

Rahul Varshneya, ResumeSeed

5. Come Prepared with Hard Data

You’re asking for X amount for your new salary, but you don’t have reasons as to why you deserve this amount? You’re already making yourself look bad. You can’t throw a random number at your employer with nothing to offer except saying you know you’re qualified. Have specific, legitimate reasons to back up your position. Get that raise, and be proud of it!

Thomas Griffin, OptinMonster

6. Show How You Will Add Value

In typical salary negotiations, both the employee and employer will be looking out for their own best interests. Therefore, when negotiating for a higher salary it’s best to explain why the increased pay would not just benefit you but also the employer. In other words, focus the negotiations on how you will add value to the company, despite the increased salary.

Matthew Podolsky, Florida Law Advisers, P.A.

7. Leverage Your Reputation

When looking to negotiate a higher salary, remember the lesson of reputation over money. Cement and showcase your abilities, values and overall reputation first, and money will come. At the end of the day, your reputation is what makes people want to work with you, and allows you the opportunity and power to negotiate your salary.

David Chen, Sharebert

8. Have an Action Plan If They Say ‘No’

A “no” is an opportunity to make a plan for what must be done to get to the next level. If you’re defeated by the first refusal, you may miss an opportunity to demonstrate your value and develop your skills productively. Plus, this “no” is a good test for not just you, but management — if a manager can’t (or won’t) help you get better, they may not be the right manager.

Kevin Bretthauer, FuelCloud

9. Take Initiative to Prove Your Value

Before asking for a raise, take on additional responsibilities and prove your value. You can then say, “You can see that I’ve done X and Y in the last month and created Z value. So I’d like to make these my responsibilities permanently.” In the end, this approach creates a much stronger salary negotiation position than saying, “Give me this and I will do that.”

Karl Kangur, Above House

10. Set the Meeting Near the End of the Week

A study by Psychology Today reported that employees and employers are more hard-nosed and inflexible near the beginning of the week. However, by the end of the week, they are more accommodating and flexible. Timing, as they say, is everything. So ask for a raise on a Thursday, when your employer is more likely to be open-minded and agreeable.

Shu Saito, Godai


These answers are provided by Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most successful young entrepreneurs. YEC members represent nearly every industry, generate billions of dollars in revenue each year and have created tens of thousands of jobs. Learn more at yec.co.



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