salary negotiations

Be Prepared, Not Scared, When It’s Time for Salary Negotiations

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Salary negotiations can be just as scary to some job candidates as the interview is. This is especially true when unprepared to handle the question, “What are your salary expectations?”

These days, this question is usually the first one many recruiters or hiring managers ask. They ask this question first to make sure you’re both in alignment, so as not to waste your time or theirs.

Would you be ready to answer this question right off the bat?

Regardless of when salary negotiations come up, either at the start of an interview or later during a job offer, you must be prepared to not only answer this question, but to answer it in a way that doesn’t boot you out of the running for the job.

Step one: do your research

The first step in maneuvering the minefield of salary negotiations is to do your research. You want to find out what the typical salary is for the job title in your geographic location. There are several sites you can find this information, but you need to know which sites are most accurate.

LinkedIn’s salary calculator is still fairly new, and therefore somewhat skewed, so results should be taken with a grain of salt. More reliable sites include the US Bureau of Labor Statistics,,, and

Step two: learn some strategies for salary negotiations

Once you’ve done your research, you want to come up with a strategy to discuss salary without being the first one to name a number. The first one to name a number usually loses.

There are ways to answer the question without shooting yourself in the foot. In addition, based on how you word your response, you can find out more details about the job and the benefits so you can provide a more informed answer in your salary negotiations.

This is something I help my clients with. In fact, just today I worked with a client who needed help handling the question very early in the interview.

When you do finally have to talk specific numbers in your salary negotiations, you still want to proceed with caution. There are three strategies I teach my clients. They can decide which one will work best for them in their particular situation. (If you also need help with this, let me know!)

Step three: don’t just look at the money

Finally, don’t just consider how much money you want when discussing salary. Consider also benefits and the monetary value they equal to.

Even if you can’t negotiate the salary you want, you may be able to negotiate some benefits not already offered.

This can include:

  • A sooner salary or performance review
  • A more prestigious job title
  • Flexible, remote, or hybrid schedule
  • Tuition or professional development reimbursement
  • College debt assistance
  • Reimbursement of professional association fees
  • Relocation expenses
  • A mentor
  • and more.

Need help with salary negotiations?

If you’re in the market for a new job, you’ll want to be prepared for salary negotiations, and sooner than you think. And if you don’t feel confident to discuss your salary expectations from the start of the interview process, you’ll need some assistance.

To get the help you need, consider hiring a career coach like myself. Find out more by completing the paNASH intake form and scheduling a complimentary initial consultation. Filling out the form or participating in the consultation does not obligate you in any way.

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