Salary Negotiation: Practical Tips to Earn More
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 7 min read


  1. Research salary ranges in your industry
  2. Evaluate your value
  3. Prepare your argument
  4. Practice negotiation skills
  5. Discuss benefits package
  6. Be confident and persistent
  7. Consider counter offers
  8. Know when to walk away

So, you've landed that job interview, or perhaps you're gearing up for a performance review. Either way, the thought of negotiating salary and compensation is looming. It's natural to feel a tad apprehensive—let's face it, talking money can be awkward. But don't fret! With the right approach and a sprinkle of confidence, you can navigate this discussion like a pro. This blog is your roadmap to earning what you're worth, taking you step-by-step through the art of negotiating salary and compensation. Let's dive in with the first step: researching salary ranges in your industry.

Research salary ranges in your industry

Before you can confidently talk dollars and cents, you need to know the lay of the land. You wouldn't buy a car without checking out similar models' prices, right? The same logic applies when negotiating salary and compensation. Knowing the typical pay range in your industry gives you a solid foundation to build your argument upon. So, where do you start?

Job listing sites: Websites like Glassdoor, PayScale, and Indeed publish salary data for a vast array of job titles across various industries. You can use this data to understand the average pay for your role in your location.

Industry publications: Many industries have dedicated publications that periodically report on compensation trends. For example, ComputerWorld's annual IT Salary Survey reveals pay rates across the tech realm.

Professional networking: While you may not want to ask your colleagues outright about their salaries, professional networking events can provide a more casual forum for discussing compensation norms. Just remember to keep it respectful and professional.

By doing your homework on industry salary ranges, you'll have a fact-based starting point when negotiating salary and compensation. Not only does this empower you with knowledge, but it also shows potential employers that you're thorough and informed. And remember, knowledge is power—especially when it comes to your paycheck.

Evaluate your value

Now that you've done your background research on salary ranges, the next step in the process of negotiating salary and compensation is to evaluate your value. What do you bring to the table that justifies the salary you're seeking? It's not enough to just want a higher salary— you need to prove you're worth it.

Work Experience: Start by taking stock of your professional experiences. What skills have you mastered? Which projects have you led? What unique expertise do you carry? For instance, if you're a graphic designer who has consistently delivered high-quality projects under tight deadlines, that's a valuable skill.

Education and Certifications: Your educational background and any additional certifications can add value to your role, especially if they're directly relevant to the job. For instance, a project manager with a PMP certification may have an edge over a candidate without one.

Soft Skills: Never underestimate the power of soft skills. Your ability to communicate effectively, solve problems creatively, or lead a team can make you a more desirable candidate and boost your value in the eyes of an employer.

So, why is evaluating your value so important? Well, it gives you a solid footing to stand on when negotiating salary and compensation. Instead of just throwing out a number, you can provide specific reasons why you're worth that amount. And that makes a world of difference.

Prepare your argument

When you're getting ready to negotiate salary and compensation, it's like stepping onto a debate stage. You have to be clear, confident, and compelling. And just like a good debater, you need a well-prepared argument.

Firstly, you need to highlight your achievements. Remember that graphic design project you completed in record time, or the successful marketing campaign you led? Those are your shining stars—use them. When you share these concrete examples of your work, you're not just talking about your skills, you're showing how they bring value to the company.

Secondly, know your numbers. This isn't only about the salary figure you're aiming for. It's also about the impact you've made in your roles. Did you help increase sales by 20%? Did you reduce operational costs by 15%? These numbers speak volumes and can strengthen your case.

Finally, be solution-oriented. Show your potential employer that you're not just looking for more money, but you're also committed to contributing to the company's success. If you can propose ideas or strategies that could solve a company problem or boost growth, you're proving your worth beyond a price tag.

So, when you step into that salary negotiation, remember to back up your ask with a solid argument. It's not just about what you want—it's about what you can deliver.

Practice negotiation skills

Think about negotiating salary and compensation as a dance. It's all about rhythm, timing, and knowing when to take the lead. And just like any dance, it's something you can get better at with practice.

First, practice active listening. It's not just about what you say, but also about how well you listen. Understanding your employer's perspective can help you respond more effectively and find common ground. So, make sure you're really hearing what's being said, not just waiting for your turn to speak.

Next, work on your communication. Clear, concise, and respectful communication is key. You want to express your needs and expectations without sounding demanding or confrontational. Remember, it's a negotiation, not a battle. Use phrases like "I believe", "I feel", or "I think" to express your point of view more gently.

Also, get comfortable with silence. It can be tempting to fill every moment with words, but sometimes, a pause can be powerful. It gives both parties time to think and can also show that you're confident and thoughtful.

Lastly, practice, practice, practice. Try role-playing the negotiation with a friend or mentor. Practicing out loud can help you refine your argument, anticipate responses, and build confidence. Plus, it'll help you get used to the back-and-forth of negotiation, so you'll be ready to dance when the music starts.

Discuss benefits package

When it comes to negotiating salary and compensation, don't forget to bring up benefits. Remember—compensation isn't just about the number on your paycheck. It's about the whole package. And sometimes, a robust benefits package can be just as valuable as a higher salary.

Here's what you can do:

Ask about health insurance. This doesn't just mean asking if they offer it, but also asking about the details. What kind of coverage do they offer? How much will you have to contribute? Don't forget about dental and vision insurance, too.

Consider retirement plans. Does the company offer a 401(k) plan? Do they match contributions? This is essentially free money towards your retirement, so it's definitely worth considering.

Think about time off. How many vacation days and sick days do they offer? What about parental leave or personal days? Time off is a crucial part of work-life balance, so don't neglect it.

Look at other perks. Some companies offer things like gym memberships, tuition reimbursement, or even free snacks in the office. While these might not seem like a big deal, they can add up to a significant value over time.

In short, when you're negotiating salary and compensation, remember to look beyond just the salary. The benefits package is a big part of your compensation, and it's definitely worth discussing.

Be confident and persistent

When it comes to negotiating salary and compensation, confidence is key. You need to believe in your value and communicate it effectively. Here are some tips to help you do just that:

Know your worth. This goes back to evaluating your value and researching average salaries in your industry. The more knowledgeable you are, the more confident you'll feel.

Practice your pitch. It's one thing to know your worth, but it's another to communicate it effectively. Practice your argument ahead of time so you can present it clearly and confidently.

Stay cool under pressure. Negotiations can be tense, but it's important to keep your cool. Don't let emotions cloud your judgement or communication.

Don't back down too quickly. If the initial offer isn't what you were hoping for, don't be afraid to push back. Remember, this is a negotiation. You don't have to accept the first offer.

Confidence and persistence can go a long way in salary negotiations. Just remember to stay respectful and professional. After all, you're not just negotiating a salary—you're building a relationship with your future employer.

Consider Counter Offers

Once you've made your case for a higher salary, be prepared to consider counter offers. This is a key part of negotiating salary and compensation, and it's where your research and preparation will really come into play.

Be open to discussion: You've made your case, and now it's time to listen. The employer may propose an alternative package. Maybe they can't meet your salary request, but they can offer other forms of compensation like more vacation time, a sign-on bonus, or educational opportunities.

Take your time: Don't feel rushed to accept or decline a counter offer on the spot. It's okay to ask for time to consider it. This shows that you're serious about making the right decision, for both you and the company.

Assess the entire package: Salary is just one piece of the puzzle. Look at the big picture and consider all aspects of the offer, including benefits, work-life balance, and growth opportunities. Sometimes, a slightly lower salary might be worth it if the overall package is more attractive.

Remember, a counter offer is not a rejection. It's just part of the negotiation process. So, keep an open mind, consider all the factors, and make the decision that's right for you.

Know When to Walk Away

Sometimes, despite your best efforts at negotiating salary and compensation, things just don't work out. And that's okay. Knowing when to walk away is just as important as knowing how to negotiate.

Listen to your gut: If you feel the offer isn't fair, or if the negotiation process leaves a bad taste in your mouth, it's okay to walk away. You want to start a job feeling valued and respected, not underpaid and undervalued.

Think long-term: Sure, a job might pay well now, but will it provide the growth and learning opportunities you want in the long run? If not, it might be worth passing up the offer for something better down the line.

Stay professional: If you decide to walk away, do so with grace and professionalism. The world is small, and you never know when you might cross paths with these people again. A respectful exit leaves the door open for future opportunities.

Negotiating salary and compensation can be nerve-wracking, but remember, you're not just negotiating for your present self. You're negotiating for your future self too. So make sure to value your worth, stand your ground, and never be afraid to walk away if it's not the right fit.

If you're looking to improve your salary negotiation skills and earn more in your freelance career, don't miss the workshop 'Freelance Freedom: Levelling Up' by dominique_eloise. This workshop is full of practical tips and advice to help you level up your freelance career, negotiate better rates, and ultimately earn more for your hard work.