Tips on how to negotiate your salary

Negotiating your salary when you are offered a new job can be a daunting prospect. Lily Howes offers her tips for broaching the delicate subject and finds that pay is not the only fruit to bargain with

Whether you’ve landed yourself a new job or have worked your way up the ranks into a new role, it’s often not as simple as signing on the dotted line. First comes negotiating your salary. But if your employer won’t budge and money mediations come to a halt then there are other many other areas worthy of discussion.

Salary is not the only company benefit to consider

Begin by enquiring about what company benefits already exist. This might range from stock options and pension schemes to healthcare benefits or free gym memberships. As the age-old maxim says: if you don’t ask, you don’t get.

Other elements of arbitration may be a little less straightforward, and perhaps more personal to individual situations, such as flexible working options. Reducing your hours, going part-time or having more work-from-home days are a just a handful of potential preferences. If you’re a parent of a child aged 17 and under or have adult caring responsibilities then you have a legal right to request flexible or part-time working – and your employer must fully consider your application.

A common compensation for a denied salary increase is more annual leave. While those with mortgage payments to keep up and children to support might seek a better severance package. But whatever the request, negotiations must be approached in the right manner.

Five ways to negotiate your salary

1. Write it down

Detail your request in writing but ensure it is also talked over in person, preferably during a scheduled meeting – don’t just turn up at your manager’s office with a list of demands out of the blue.

2. Show you’re worthy

The key to the negotiation conversation being successful starts with having strong and valid justifications for your requests. You must show that you are deserving of the perks you seek. This can be determined by your commitment to the company, the quality of your work and the positive outcomes your contributions have had – the more tangible evidence you can give, the better.

Or if you are joining a new organisation then utilise your previous experience, references from former managers and clients will do the trick or solid examples of your achievements.

3. Play fair on holidays

If you are asking for more holiday in particular then the health and business benefits of time off should also not be overlooked. Additionally showing flexibility by agreeing not to take holiday in large chunks will no doubt be looked upon favourably.

4. Make the case for the company

Alongside this state the benefits that, should your request be approved, it will bring to the business. Be it your commitment, the positive effect it will have on your work output and work quality or something altogether more specific – this is what employers will be most interested in.

5. Be practical

The final difference between those that will have their requests considered and those that will have their requests rejected lies in the practicalities. Demonstrating that you have thought through the day-to-day nuts and bolts of your request and are being realistic rather than simply trying your luck will leave you in much better standing.

Ensure you show due consideration for how it will affect your role and responsibilities as well as how it will affect your colleagues. Particularly if you ask for a flexible working option, show you have thought about dealing with meetings and how others can keep in touch with you when you are out of the office.

All of the above combined will leave you in a strong positions for imminent discussions, but unfortunately your fate lies in the hands of managers and HR personnel. Be willing to compromise and understand that some arrangements just won’t be feasible but all the while be confident in your case.

Lily Howes is a freelance journalist and content editor.

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