December 11, 2023

In an economy where hiring has reached pre-pandemic levels and skill shortages are driving up salaries, it may seem like you shouldn’t bother negotiating your salary once an employer makes an offer. But according to experts, accepting a first-time salary without negotiating could be leaving money on the table. And while negotiating can feel intimidating, it’s actually not that difficult. In fact, over 80% of people who ask for higher pay succeed in their negotiations, says career coach Jennifer Berkley.

The key to successful negotiating is being prepared. Before entering a one-on-one discussion, write up your accomplishments, recommendations, and testimonials in a clear and concise sheet of paper that you can reference during the negotiation. It’s also a good idea to know how much people in your industry and geographic area are getting paid, which is easier than ever with websites like Glassdoor and and with free online tools available from companies such as Robert Half.

You should also be ready to provide your interviewer with a range of what you are willing to accept for a salary, advises Peter Cappelli, professor and director of the Center for Human Resources at Wharton School of Business. He suggests re-framing any metric your interviewer uses—such as percentage differences—as market value, which will shift the conversation away from ego and toward the actual dollars at issue.

And remember, the interviewer is usually expecting you to negotiate, so don’t be afraid to let your enthusiasm shine during the conversation. While many employees avoid negotiating because it feels like an adversarial way to conduct a conversation with someone they plan on working alongside, negotiating is not a battle; it’s a problem-solving process that will benefit both parties. Negotiating higher pay

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