How to Negotiate The Salary You Deserve by@turbulence

How to Negotiate The Salary You Deserve

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University of Louisville Professor Ryan Quinn suggests answering these questions can be a good start to your negotiation preparation. Research salaries for your position online and find data that supports your pay raise from sites like and others. Write the data down to ask about in the negotiation as well as any non-monetary compensation you might want. Be creative. Brainstorm ways the company might be able to fill your needs even if they cannot increase your salary. Remember to stay cool. Look for non-monetary gains you can make, reminding yourself of your best alternative of a negotiated agreement.

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Amy Pravin Shah

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You have got a job offer, promotion or simply want to ask your boss for a raise… Now what? How do you prepare to negotiate your salary so that you can make an effective and winning case? University of Louisville Professor Ryan Quinn suggests answering these questions can be a good start.  

What is your best alternative to this position?

When negotiating your salary for a new job, think of what would happen if your negotiation fell through. What would happen if you could not get what you wanted? Your base position is called the best alternative to a negotiated agreement or BATNA. It is square one, the place you will be coming back to if you can’t get what you want.

For example, if someone was currently employed and looking for a new job and if they could not get the salary they desired from a job offer, then they could fall back on their old job as their BATNA.  

What might be their best alternative?

Now think of what might be the best alternative for the other party: the employer or company. During their negotiation with you, they also have a BATNA. Maybe if they don’t hire you and give you the salary they are looking for, they will have to hire temporary services that might cost more for them in the long run. 

In this case, the BATNA would be to hire temporary workers. It is better if you can do more research about the problems the company is facing because it may lead to a better understanding of their BATNA. That would enable you to know how far to push your salary negotiations.  

What is your ambitious-but-not-offensive salary goal for this position? Why is this your goal?

At this point, research salaries for your position online. Find data that supports your pay raise from sites like and If you can, ask others who work in that field about the typical salary ranges. This might be a good topic to discuss with a mentor.

Be able to support your ambitious-but-not-offensive salary goal with documentation and your own research. There is a website called that helps women and underrepresented groups with this data gathering and negotiating process.

Other resources to help with your salary negotiation include groups called that helps Black women get trained, hired, and promoted. Also, is a global career accelerator for Black technology professionals and executives which provides employment support and advice for its members.

Additionally, also helps give career advice and mentorship in the technology fields. 

What does this say about your underlying interests for this goal?

In other words, are there other ways in which the company could help you achieve your underlying interests in addition to doing so through salary? If so, how? Be creative.

Are there non-monetary ways the company could compensate you, even if they cannot raise your salary? Do you need a work phone paid for by the company? Would they be able to give you more paid time off per year?

If you think about it, there might be other ways to improve your compensation package that would help you do your job better. Brainstorm ways the company might be able to fill your needs even if they cannot increase your salary. Write these down to ask about in the negotiation as well as monetary compensation.

What might their goal be for your salary? Why might this be their goal?

Do some thinking or researching about how the company might position themselves. Is the company struggling to fill that job? Why? Does that job have a high turnover? Imagine what might be the pain points for the employer. Think of how you might be the right fit for the position and how you being hired at the salary you want can relieve their struggles.  

Look for other ways in which you could help the company achieve their underlying interests in ways other than through salary. Be creative.

Can you ask them to make the opening bid?

The start of a salary negotiation sets the tone for the whole bargaining process. By asking the other party to make the opening bid you may be in a better position for bargaining. They will have revealed in their opening bid an initial offer that you may be able to improve upon during the salary negotiating process. 

How will you prepare yourself ahead of time to pause and reflect if any emotional issues arise?

It is possible that the negotiation will bring up feelings of frustration for you. You might feel disappointed if the negotiation is not going well. Conversely, you might be overconfident if your research suggested a higher salary was usual, but the employer cannot for whatever reason make that happen.

Remember to stay cool. Look for non-monetary gains you can make. Also, reminding yourself of your best alternative to a negotiated agreement, BATNA, may help. You might be able to fall back on the BATNA if your negotiation does not pan out. 

How can you help them learn to think collaboratively while discussing this?

Finally, remember a salary negotiation is a give and take. The ideal situation is a win-win situation because you will be working with your employer in the future (maybe for a long time). Look for support from mentors, online groups, and work friends who might be able to guide you in the right direction.

Remember that the more you practice negotiation, the better you will do it when the stakes are high. You can practice negotiating in everyday life. Most life situations with people are made of competing interests. How can you negotiate a simple life event like deciding where to go out to eat? How can you negotiate who will do which household chores? These are just some ways you can practice negotiation skills daily. With daily practice and the proper job research, you can be successful with your salary negotiation.  

What’s the worst thing that can happen if you try to negotiate for a better salary? 

Well, probably the worst thing is: someone will only say no! The possibility of achieving a substantial pay raise or better job benefits makes this worth it. I encourage you to practice negotiation every day in low-stakes situations. When the time comes to negotiate your salary, your experience with smaller negotiations will help you when the stakes are high. You’ve got this! I am rooting for you! Go negotiate that salary you deserve.


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