Since 55% of workers don’t have inflation-adjusted salaries, the cost of living can feel unmanageable for many Americans. If you’re looking for a fair job offer that will keep you secure and comfortable, understanding how to negotiate a salary is the first step toward success.

Here, we’re going to talk about some negotiation strategies that will land you a good compensation package and competitive salary. Read on to make the late steps of the job search easier.

Know what you’re due

One of the most common job interview questions is how much you expect to earn if you get the position. This can be a tough question to answer since you might lowball yourself. However, if you give too high a figure, the company may reject you because they can’t afford you.

Research the going rate for your position and industry before a job interview.

Once you get a job offer, keep this going rate in mind when you begin negotiations. This will ensure that you ask for a reasonable amount within the appropriate range.

Understanding how much most people make in your position will also help you create a case for why you deserve to make more. Maybe you have more education than others who make the lower end of the average. Maybe you have certification that other candidates don’t.

Compiling the facts with all necessary background knowledge is sure to make things go smoother.

Request more than you want

No, you can’t go into salary negotiations by saying that you want a million dollars per year. It’s important to stay reasonable and realistic. However, your position likely has a salary range that means people get paid different rates.

For example, imagine that you have an offer for a position that commonly pays between $40,000 and $70,000 annually.

If you want $55,000 per year, begin by saying that you want $65,000. This is reasonable because it’s within the range and serves as a starting point for negotiations.

Remember that you’re going to need to discuss and compromise on a fair salary, so the first figure you ask for won’t be your actual rate. You’re going to get less than you originally ask for. Keep that in mind when making your initial request.

Keep the current economy in mind when asking for a salary and make sure that you aim for enough to stay comfortable in 2024’s financial climate.

Don’t accept a lowball offer

Staying realistic is important, but you don’t want to accept a lower offer than you’re due. Keep the personal range that you set for yourself in mind and stick to it. If you have ample reason to think that your skillset and experience warrant more than you’re offered, don’t lowball yourself.

Your first offer isn’t the only offer you’ll get. Don’t get anxious and accept it right off the bat. You have the legal right to advocate for a higher salary for yourself.

Sell what sets you apart

Knowing how to negotiate is just one step toward a good salary. You’re also going to need to sell yourself and show employers why you deserve higher pay.

You’ll already have submitted a resume that talks about your education and past experience. This means that you don’t need to submit a laundry list of all your degrees and past positions. Instead, make a list of your accomplishments and achievements that are relevant to the role.

For example, suppose that you’re interviewing for a position as a marketing consultant. You’ll want to talk about any awards or accolades that you’ve won for your marketing work in the past and why they matter. You also will want to discuss projects you’ve led and completed, goals you’ve met in past companies, and skills that helped you succeed in these situations.

This will go well with your unique, individualistic value proposition. A value proposition is a statement that highlights what you’ll bring to the company that others could not. Skills, unique outlooks, languages you speak, and potential for maximizing company income are all important facets of such a document.

Factor in benefits

Not everything is about your salary’s base figure. You’re going to get other employee benefits and perks that also contribute to your compensation package.

Health benefits are one of the biggest things to consider. You may want to accept a slightly lower salary if you’re going to get more health coverage under the job plan. If you get dental insurance or additional benefits, these may also be worth taking a small salary hit for.

There are other aspects of negotiating to consider as well. You should be campaigning for flexible work hours and options for remote work. A slightly smaller salary is usually worth the possibility of a better work/life balance.

Finally, negotiate vacation days and sick days in addition to your wages. It’s all about self-care and the ability to maintain a life outside of work. This can stop you from going crazy and allow you to live life in the way you see fit.

Remember future opportunities

Negotiating a salary before you begin work is stressful because that’s your starting point. As you meet milestones, make on-the-job achievements, and gain experience, you’ll have more opportunities to ask for raises and more perks. If your workplace raises prices or gets more funding, you may get raises or bonuses then, too.

Find the right time to request pay raises after accepting an offer. Meeting revenue goals and adding new goods and services to your repertoire may be good times to inquire about compensation.

You might also try to ask for raises after you haven’t gotten one for a while. This can be on the grounds of inflation and industry norms. After working somewhere for a while, you have the right to ask for cost of living adjustments.