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Career Advice: How to ask for a Higher Salary

Career Advice: How to ask for a Higher Salary

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    Feb 01, 2016   Author : admin

Posted in: CAREER

There may come a time that you will be offered a salary that may seem too low or even insulting.  But you do not have to accept any and all things offered to you.   A good employer would be inclined to respond to your demands, because if you get what you want and it isn’t too expensive for them, they know that you will most likely stay at their organization as a happy and productive employee. As the Good Book says, “You have not because you ask not.”  The key is to be appropriately and tactfully assertive.

Research the Salary

A lot of salary information is widely available, whereas other job information is strictly confidential.  A good place to start looking for the average salary for the position you want would be a Google search and/or a search of  If an online search does not turn up any results, you may have to attend career fairs and/or ask people in similar positions to the one that interests you, within your desired organization or elsewhere.  You must, however, be subtle and exercise discretion.  Saying, “what is the typical range of remuneration for a position like this in your organization” is better than saying outright, “How much do you make?”  Salary questions are best asked during face to face interactions.  Do not discuss your salary during the interview process.  You are in a better position to negotiate a better salary with an offer in hand.

According to Roger Fisher and William Ury, in order to negotiate effectively, one must disentangle the people from the problem; focus on interests, not positions and work together to find creative and fair options.

Deciding Upon a Salary

Instead of suggesting a salary, hear what your hiring manager or human resources have to say first, despite the amount of research you may have done, let them make the initial offer.  This is important, because the initial offer, whether you propose it or your employer, will strongly influence the final outcome of the negotiation and becomes a reference point throughout the negotiation and possibly the job.  This is called anchoring, and such anchoring makes the outcome biased because it becomes a reference point.  It is difficult to re-anchor once negotiation has begun.  That said, the initial anchor should be not be insultingly low. Delee Fromm, negotiation expert, suggests asking “What are you planning to pay for this position?  Is this the most you would pay?”  Make statements such as “Certainly my experience should command a better salary” or “I’m willing to make a long-term commitment, and that certainly makes a higher salary fair.”

If you have to pitch the salary expectation, give a range to save face. “My general rule is to never go beyond 30 percent of what they are offering; proceed with caution because too high a demand would seem dishonest” says Patrick Collins, author of Negotiate to Win!: Talking Your Way to What you Want (Essence Magazine, April 2009, pg. 118).

Use silence to your advantage

Depending on the salary offered, an awkward silence may follow.  According to Collins, one should use this silence to their advantage and say nothing, because people will often scramble to fill the silence, perhaps by hinting at being open to negotiation by saying “Is something wrong?” or “I guess we can do better.”


MYC Writer Simone M. Samuels

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