5 Things to Figure Out Before Negotiating Salary

If you’ve reached the point in your interviewing process where you got offered an excellent job. Congratulations! Should you choose to accept, it’ll be exciting to move forward. You’ll get to work with a company that aligns with your career goals!

Before moving forward, you’ll need to negotiate your salary. It’s vital to have a discussion and get everything ironed out ahead of time. That way, by the time you’re ready to read over and sign your employment agreement, there won’t be any doubts!

Here, I’ll offer some suggestions on what you should figure out before negotiating salary.

1. What Do Other People in My Industry Make?

Do some research on what the salary is for people in your industry. Don’t base everything on what you read, though. Things change, and findings aren’t always accurate. What you’re reading on hiring websites may not be up to date.

Consult With Friends

If you have friends in your same industry, ask if they’d be willing to divulge their salary. Knowing someone in your same field will give you a realistic picture of what others are making. It would help if you strived to get paid that much or more.

Connect on LinkedIn

Another way to research salaries is by connecting with people in your field on LinkedIn. Ask questions in groups and if appropriate, ask someone you’ve been connected with for a while.

Be candid and reveal a company recently offered you a position. Discussing a salary is next, and you’d like to get compensated appropriately. Other professionals should be willing to provide some pointers. And in some cases, they may divulge what salary range is appropriate.

2. How Will Things Look After Direct Deposit?

You figured out a salary you’d be content with, but did you factor in what will get taken out of your paycheck?

Do Some Calculations

Before accepting the first offer, do some calculations. How will things look after taxes, disability, and health insurance get taken out? Where you live will also affect things like taxes, so keep that in mind.

Based on everything that gets taken out, decide whether you’d be satisfied with your salary.

Take Monthly Bills Into Account

Besides what’ll go out of your paycheck, don’t forget about your monthly bills. Write down what you’re paying for your mortgage, food, and more. Ideally, your salary should also include enough for you to invest as well.

After writing everything down, do what math. You may find that you need a higher salary than what you initially calculated.

3. What Makes Me Valuable?

You know your value as an employee, so use it to your advantage! You may have gotten more schooling on top of your degree. Or, you went back to school to get a second Master’s degree. If that’s the case, highlight that when negotiating your salary.

The company that’s hiring you already knows about your invaluable skill set. After all, that’s why they’re hiring you! But it’s okay to remind them of that as you negotiate your salary. Selling yourself will ultimately result in you getting the compensation you desire.

Remember, not everyone has your experience. Make that clear to the company that’s hiring you to sway them.

4. What Other Benefits Are Important to Me?

Besides negotiating your salary, don’t forget to bring up other benefits.

For example, you may want more vacation days to spend time with your family. Or, it’d be nice to get paid for expanding your education.

If the benefits contribute to your growth as an employee, that’ll be a good selling point. You could bring certain items up later, but it’s best to discuss everything before signing your contract.

5. How Will I Start the Conversation?

Starting the conversation to negotiate your salary may be the most challenging part. But when push comes to shove, don’t back down or compromise. If you believe you deserve a certain amount of compensation, drive your argument home. The company should recognize your value and be willing to work with you.

It’s best not to meet with the company until you’re ready. If they’re looking to get you started as soon as possible, then you’ll have to prepare quickly. But if they can wait a few days, it’ll allow you to think things through.


Agreeing on your salary will take effort from both parties. It’s up to you to do your research and check to see if you thought of everything. And it’s up to the company to make you happy before starting your new position.

Stay firm as you negotiate, and your boss will respect you more. When it’s time to step into your new role, you’ll be proud of yourself for getting a job you love and the compensation you deserve!

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