Whether you’re starting a new job or looking to improve your pay in your current role, at some point, you’ll likely need to know how to ask for a bigger salary. And whether or not you succeed can have a big impact on everything from your monthly budget to your work motivation, personal morale, and career goals. 

But the fear of hearing “no” shouldn’t deter you for going for what you feel you deserve — and with just a little extra internal and external preparation, you could greatly improve your chances of hearing “yes.” 

When it comes to negotiating a better salary, here are a few tips for getting what you want. 


Be confident.

It’s one thing to want more money — it’s another thing to believe it. Go into your negotiation calm, confident and assured that you’re worth every penny. After all, if you don’t believe you deserve it, why should anyone else? 


Shoot for the top. 

When deciding how much to ask for, select a range that you’ll be happy with — from your top, realistic dream salary to the lowest number you’ll accept. Then, start your ask at the top. While you never know what might happen (fingers crossed!), you’ll also give your employer a little leeway to still fall in your range, if they can’t meet your dreamy demands. 


Know the average salary for your position.

Before you go in for a salary negotiation, do your market research. Find out what those in similar roles at similar-size companies make, and be prepared to present the numbers. Competitive salaries provide cold, hard, comparative data about the value of your position — one that’s hard to refute. 


Be prepared to defend your position.

When it comes to getting your desired salary, you’ll need to prove your worth — and that starts with showcasing your career accomplishments. If you’re in a numbers-oriented position, have stats on how you’ve grown revenue or cut budgets. If you’ve managed a team, be ready to share what makes you a good leader. If you’ve been speeding up the industry ladder, have a mental timeline of your growth ready to go. While it can sometimes be uncomfortable to talk about your own accomplishments, it’s essential to getting your salary to the next level.  


Consider the entire compensation package.

If your company can’t afford to provide a monetary raise, think about alternative ways to be compensated. Is it a larger retirement package? More vacation time? Having a task taken off your plate? Think about other ways that your company can show their appreciation and ensure that your compensation matches your experience and your current workload. 


Practice, Practice, Practice.

Whether practicing with a friend or partner, or running through it alone in front of a mirror, run through your presentation a few times before meeting with your boss or potential employer. You’ll want to stay cool, confident and unfazed throughout the negotiation, and the more you practice your talking points, the less of a chance that you will be knocked off your game. Bonus: you’ll also prove that you can handle tough moments at the office.

With a bit of prior work and the right attitude in the moment, you can increase the odds that your salary negotiation will be a success. Good luck!


DISCLAIMER: This material is provided for informational purposes only, and is not intended as financial advice.