Home Articles Job Search How to Negotiate Salary When Offered a Job

Salary is often the prime consideration when switching jobs. However, more often than not, you’re going to be offered a package lower than what you want. Skillful salary negotiation can help you seal the deal at a better salary package. This isn’t an optional skill to have; you’re going to need it whether you like it or not. It can be developed. You need to know the questions to ask, the right words to use, and the best way to place your case forcefully yet amiably. Surveys reveal that salary is the topmost consideration for three out of four employees when assessing a job offer. Most job searches originate from dissatisfaction with the existing salary.

In the prevailing job market, even employers have become more open to discussions about compensation and non-monetary perks that the company can give its employees. Unless you need a job badly, it does not hurt at all to negotiate with the management when you’re made an offer.

Consider the following six questions to give yourself the best chance at succeeding during salary negotiations.

Am I allowed to negotiate the salary?

Begin by appreciating the job offer. Tact and decorum can take you far. The answer to your question determines the future of the conversation. A “no” likely means that with your unease at the offered package, there’s little sense in taking things forward. A “yes” indicates that you could get a more attractive package. Before you ask the first of the seven probable questions, listen to the entire job offer. You’ll have all the information you need to weigh your options and present your case realistically.

How did you arrive at this salary?

To appreciate the answer to this question, you first need to know what the average market salary is for a person of your geographic area, qualifications, and experience. When you ask this question, the employer cannot but consider that you have researched the subject and know your worth.

What else is negotiable?

It pays to learn about all that is negotiable along with the salary or apart from it. If not the take-home salary, what else could it be that would interest you? Would you take lower pay for the option of remote work that saves you travel time and expense? How about a paid vacation each year? Or maybe, something else you prioritize, such as a performance bonus, overtime pay, etc. Do not be afraid to raise these points. It’s worth understanding that even non-monetary benefits can prove financially fruitful. The time you save on commuting can be used for a side gig or a freelance job. If the base salary is not what you want it to be, check if bonuses can fill the gap. The average monthly salary that employees in your category take home is a more accurate marker of the earning potential than the base salary.

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Can I get a breakdown of the income and savings?

A breakdown of where the money-saving and income opportunities are will let you calibrate your pitch for higher pay more effectively. With this information in hand, you may decide that this is good enough. If your employer decides to bear the expense of your child’s tuition or your conveyance costs, these can add up to substantial savings in a year.

What are the chances of salary raises in the future?

Find out about how people in the position you’re applying for progress professionally. This knowledge about the scope for growth can temper your demands for better pay in the beginning. The chance of a promotion with a better job title can be an excellent reason, to begin with, the offered salary. Also, try to learn about the process followed for a salary raise. This will inform you about the things you have to do to be in the reckoning for a raise. This is a good question to ask because it reflects your keenness to do well and get that performance-based raise.

Could you provide the terms in writing?

Once you’ve agreed upon the terms. Ask for them in writing. The revised letter should reflect the changes that have been made to the salary or package as a result of the negotiation.


Remember, the squeaky wheel gets the grease. You’ll get it only if you ask for it. Give yourself the best chance of getting the package you deserve by knowing what you want and if you deserve it. Foreknowledge allows you to discuss the salary package with the recruiter on more even terms.

Raise the point about a better package after the company has made its offer. If it’s making an offer, that means they’re convinced that you’re the one for the job. At this point, they’re likelier to give you a more patient hearing and even agree to your suggestions.

If you are negotiating salary as an existing employee, let the boss know that you’re staying with the company even if you don’t get a raise. That’ll put them at ease, and they may take a kinder view of your propositions.

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