How to Negotiate Salary

Original Article by Wall Street Journal | Read Here

“What’s your salary range?”

Give a number too low and you could lose out on thousands of dollars. Answer too high and you could price yourself out of the running. But with some research, you can get an idea of what earnings you should be negotiating.

Start by looking up the market rate companies pay for the type of job you’re pursuing on Web sites like and Note that new hires are usually paid along this spectrum at big companies, but smaller companies tend to have less formalized salary structures. Determine the amount you want to be paid annually and settle on a minimum that you’re willing to accept.

What if you currently earn less than the market average? This can happen if you’ve been working at one company for a long period of time, while gaining mostly modest merit increases. In this instance, your chances of securing a salary offer from another firm that’s commensurate with the market average are slim. To get ahead, you’ll need to communicate why you’re worth that additional investment.

Wait until after you receive a job offer to negotiate salary. If it’s lower than what your research shows, politely point this out. It’s generally perceived as bad business for employers to pay candidates below the market rate for a job. But if an employer just isn’t willing to budge, consider asking for benefits such as extra paid time off or the option to work from home as an alternative. And bear in mind that if you perform well in a new job, you may be able to quickly secure a pay raise.

Meanwhile, find out whether a counteroffer from your current employer is likely. Consult with trusted colleagues about how such situations have been dealt with in the past to gauge how much bargaining power you might have. And if you decide to take the leap to another firm without requesting a counteroffer, give your boss ample notice. He or she just might ask you stay in exchange for higher pay without you having to ask.