How to Negotiate Your Salary
Here is something I wish I knew when I was fresh out of college: you can (and should) negotiate your salary when you’re hired for your first job. When I began my first job I was just so thankful to be hired after a grueling job search, I didn’t even think about negotiating and this was a mistake.
Although your experience as a student is valuable (see why here), negotiating when you don’t have much professional experience can be intimidating. As women, we’re often made to feel like it’s rude or ungrateful to ask for more. But the bottom line is when you start at a higher salary, you’re more likely to make more later on, it shows your employer that you are serious and value yourself, and it shows you that you’re worth more.
Need more convincing? Claire Wasserman, co-founder of Ladies Get Paid, has a lot to say on this topic.
Here are some tips on negotiating your salary:
💰Quantify your experience.
Your experience in internships, classes, or working on passion projects is completely valid to talk about in interviews, even if you weren’t paid. The trick is quantifying your contribution. Did you run social media for a school club and increase your followers by 20%? That’s great! Bring that up. Or maybe you built a website for a fake business in your computer science class, discuss what tools or coding languages you used.
💻 Do your research.
Find out what people in similar roles with similar experience are making. You can use sites like Linkedin, Glassdoor, and Payscale to research. Claire suggests taking it one step further and reaching out to recruiters and HR professionals on Linkedin to see what they suggest.
📊 Establish your limits.
The person hiring you has likely budgeted with a pay band in mind—this is a range they were prepared to pay the person in your position. You should also come armed with a range of salaries. Someone once told me the trick to negotiating is to be willingto walk away...this isn’t always realistic. What is your bottom or the lowest you are willing to go based on your budget and how badly you want the job? Then think about, what salary would be great that would give you some wiggle room, and lastly what is your shoot for the moon rockstar money?
A pro tip form Claire is to practice saying that big number out loud. Feel confident in that number so you don’t seem caught off guard when you’re put on the spot.
Now go get that 💰