The thought of asking for higher pay might make you squirm, but most employers expect job seekers to negotiate and are willing to offer more than their initial starting salary. In fact, CareerBuilder says 73% of companies are open to a counteroffer. According to Fidelity Investments, 85% of people who choose to counter an offer are successful in the negotiations.
While it’s common for candidates to be nervous about negotiating their first offer, experts say there are steps you can take to prepare and feel confident. One strategy is to practice your approach with a trusted friend or career coach who can provide feedback and help you build your confidence. Others recommend researching salaries using resources such as Glassdoor, Salary and Robert Half. Finally, it’s important to come prepared with specific examples of your experience, accomplishments and qualifications to show your employer you’re worth a higher salary.
In addition to salary, you can also negotiate other job perks such as flexible hours or travel allowances. This can be less costly for a company than increasing your salary and may be a more attractive concession.
It’s a good idea to have an exact number you want to negotiate at the top of your mind before entering a conversation with the interviewer. Research shows that candidates who enter a negotiation with a precise number are more likely to get the salary they’re seeking. But it’s also smart to have a “walk away point,” which is the final offer below which you’d be willing to decline the position. Negotiating higher pay