Let's Talk Money:  Negotiating the Salary You Deserve

July 28, 2021

Kim Roberts, Talent Acquisition Partner

Money talks. Surely, we have all heard this age-old phrase at one time or another. But now, let’s talk about money. After all, we want to be certain that we are earning as much of it as we can, and to do so can often require delicate navigation of strategic salary discussions. So how should you best approach the crucial salary conversation that often feels like a game of Cat and Mouse? 

It can be nerve-racking to tackle the topic of money. Still, it is important to serve as your own advocate in the salary negotiation process to ensure that you are appropriately compensated for the unique skills and experience you offer. Whether you’re interviewing with a new company or requesting a raise from your current employer, the following will provide a roadmap to help navigate the discussion to successfully negotiating the salary you expect to earn.

Do your research.  Take advantage of online salary estimation tools such as Glassdoor, PayScale, or Salary.com. These tools are designed to help you determine average salary ranges for your role based on industry, geographic area, and     experience level. This will provide you with an accurate idea of the current marketplace value for your professional background and skill level.  

If requesting a raise, be certain that you can justify your request. The fact is that your boss is unlikely to hand over more cash unprompted. Thus, you must arm     yourself with compelling reasons to justify why you deserve more money in your next paycheck. Be prepared to quantify the specific impact you have had on your organization’s growth, including results, accomplishments, and examples that demonstrate that you have gone above and beyond to add value to the business.  

Practice our pitch.  Rehearse the salary conversation in advance and anticipate potential questions or resistance. The more prepared you are to answer questions or address pushback, the more confidence you will have when the actual situation arises. It can help to have a friend of family member role-play the part     of your boss or interviewer. 

Be firm with your request.  When trying to woo your boss or potential employer into giving you the dough you want, be sure to exude confidence in your request. Know your worth and craft your talking points ahead of time to appear well-prepared. Researchers at Columbia Business School suggest asking for a specific     number rather than a range, as it indicates to employers that you have extensively researched your market value.


Timing is everything.  It sounds cliché, but it holds true even when it comes to your timing around requesting a raise. Psychology Today suggests that Thursdays and Fridays are the best days to request a raise, as your manager is likely to be more conciliatory as the week progresses. Studies show that people tend to become more flexible towards the end of the workweek, and as such, your boss may be more apt to accommodate your salary request.


Know the state of the business: While you may make a great case as to why you are entitled to additional compensation, it’s important to recognize the state of the business. For example, as businesses suffer or succeed based on market conditions, consolidation, a struggling economy, or a rebound, timing your discussion around the health of the company and industry is critical.


Be prepared to hear “No.” Brace yourself for the possibility that you may not necessarily land the salary you had desired. Even if the answer  “no,” you can try negotiating for non-monetary benefits like additional PTO or professional development opportunities. If you are denied a raise by your current employer, now may be the time to assess whether you should set new goals and tackle more projects, or begin to explore the job market for new opportunities.  


Now that we have shared a few of our tried-and-true tips for bumping up your next paycheck, you are now ready to navigate the salary discussion. Share some of your favorite tips for tackling the salary negotiation process and earning the compensation you deserve!