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June 27, 2022

Salary Negotiations: Tools For Boosting Confidence and Earning More

Salary negotiations are naturally intimidating. That said, when we get down to it most of our fears are either unfounded or can be easily managed with smart preparation. Self-confidence and worth are also major factors in this process. Career and Interview Coach Kyle Elliott, MPA, CHES joined Negotiate Anything to discuss tools for boosting confidence as well […]

Salary negotiations are naturally intimidating. That said, when we get down to it most of our fears are either unfounded or can be easily managed with smart preparation. Self-confidence and worth are also major factors in this process. Career and Interview Coach Kyle Elliott, MPA, CHES joined Negotiate Anything to discuss tools for boosting confidence as well as advanced strategies for preparation ahead of these important conversations.


The Role of Confidence

Fear or lack of confidence is a top factor in an individual’s ability to negotiate salary effectively. At the root of our anxiety to negotiate for more money is a fear that we aren’t worth it. This fear could be tied to deeper emotional triggers, but it could also be a psychological side effect of working within the same pay range for an extended period of time. Our identities become attached to what we have been earning.

The good news: your salary as an employee has nothing to do with your worth as a human being.

“The money is not your worth, it’s simply an exchange of energy,” Elliott said.

Framed this way, salary negotiations are nothing more than a discussion about much a company is willing to invest in exchange for the energy being put into the job.

Better Research, Better Results

When it comes to calculating market value, Elliott recommends popular sites like GlassDoor, Salary.com and LinkedIn. That said, he advises that these sites often stick to high-level data. To increase your odds of success, make your research as targeted and granular as possible and hire an HKM employment lawyer. Also, make sure to do research on your specific niche or industry. Websites like TeamBlind.com and levels.fyi are great for conducting more precise research.

Avoiding the Most Common Mistakes

According to Elliott, one of the biggest mistakes in salary negotiations is that people focus too much on money, and too little on the other benefits offered in the package. Part of this is because we tend to spend an insufficient amount of time assessing for what we really want (and need).

To overcome this common mistake, Elliott recommends that all professionals begin the salary negotiation process by asking themselves the following questions:

What do I need? (These are non-negotiable items that can’t be compromised)

What do I want? (These are preferences, but there is a willingness to compromise)

What don’t I want?

What can’t I have?

These questions should guide the remainder of the negotiation process, as they form a wish list that can be compared to all job/salary offers.

The Art of Asking

Don’t be afraid to reach out to a company’s employees to gain additional insight. This will enhance your research strategy and give you insights into how you should approach salary negotiations for each specific company.

If it helps, look at it as a networking opportunity and allow yourself to remain curious. Go into the conversation with great questions but minimal expectations. This may take some of the pressure off while still bolstering your research strategy.

Equally important: don’t be afraid to ask a hiring manager for a salary range.

“Money is generally a taboo topic, yet when we reach out to people most are willing to help and provide resources,” Elliott shared.

Remember that salary negotiations are a standard process in the workforce. While it’s always possible that a hiring manager can respond negatively, it’s highly unlikely that they will. Should they respond defensively, that could be a good indicator that the job will not be a good fit.

To ease some anxiety, Elliott recommends the following response to questions about salary requirements:

“I would love to give you a number based on what I gathered from my research. However, that might be silly because I recognize that as a manager, you already have this budget range. So may we work from there. And if you don't have that budget range available, we can wait until you do and talk about the salary at our next meeting.”

Article written by:  Orville Lynch, Jr.
Mr. Lynch, a member of the legendary two-time Ohio Civil Rights Hall of Fame Award winning Lynch Family. Mr. Lynch is a nationally recognized urban media executive with over 20+ years of diversity recruitment and serial entrepreneur with numerous multi-million dollar exits.

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