What You Need To Know: Negotiating Your Salary For the First Time

When you come to the point where you are able to negotiate your salary for the first time, it can be liberating and exciting. However, it’s not an easy task. For you to be prepared, let’s talk about what you need to know when you are negotiating your salary for the first time.

man people woman sign, negotiating your salary
Photo by Mikhail Nilov on Pexels.com

1. You are talking about your yearly income before taxes

Now, this might be no news to a lot of people, but it is important to know. When you are talking salary, you are most likely talking about your yearly income before taxes. Especially, if you are negotiating your salary for the first time, this is a significant watch-out. So if you are researching your possible salary, make also sure to do the math and figure out what your monthly income will be and if it’s enough. If you are German and want to know your income after taxes, try this calculator.

2. You need to ask for more than you actually want

Never forget, it’s a negotiation. If you are opening it with the exact amount of salary you want, you will most likely end up with less. You need some wiggle room. As you’re doing your research, you’ll likely come up with a range that represents your market value. Don’t go for the middle of that range, go for the top. If you think you don’t deserve that, erase that thought from your brain, you should always assume that you are entitled to the best of the best.

3. It’s about your market value, not your colleague’s salary

While doing your research, you will find out what kind of market value you have. If the internet can’t help you, talk to other people who are working in the industry. During this research, you will find out a lot about what kind of salary other people have. If you are talking to colleagues, don’t be discouraged if they are making less than what you want. Also, if your employer tells you he can’t give more money than your colleagues, always remember it’s about your work, your market value and not your co-workers. Your co-workers, salary shouldn’t define yours.

4. Be prepared for a tough negotiation

It doesn’t matter how good a relationship you have with your boss, it will be a tough negotiation. Never forget, the company makes a bigger profit, if you earn less, even if it’s just a few hundred euros (dollars). In the end it’s all about preparation, make sure to bring a list with your accomplishments and things you have done for the company with you to the negotiation room. 

5. You can negotiate more than your salary

If you are out of wiggle room with your salary, don’t forget that you can negotiate other things as well. For example, if they can’t go up with your salary, ask for fewer hours with the same salary or for more vacation days. If they want to keep you as an employee, they can always do something for you. They are always other benefits they can give you. 

Attractive additional benefits may include:

  • Free meals / drinks
  • Free / subsidized public transport
  • Staff sports programs / discounted memberships in sports clubs or gyms
  • Remote work 
  • Company car / smartphone
  • Company pension scheme

In the end, a good negotiation is always about preparation. There is no need to be overly nervous when you are negotiating your salary for the first time. You have to know your market value, and you’ll need to be able to show the company your value to them. And if your boss or manager doesn’t even come close to your expectations or doesn’t offer any additional benefits, don’t forget that you can always walk away. The war of talents has begun. There will be another company that will appreciate your work with a salary that is closer or above your expectation.

If you wanna reach out to us, contact us via shecareerblog@gmail.com! If you are currently applying to jobs, make sure to check out: 20 Things That Shouldn’t Be On Your Resume or How to Never Sell Yourself Short in a Job Interview.

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