The Tricks to Negotiating Your Salary Like a Pro
Negotiation. We all know how important it is. And yet data shows that only 34% of women negotiated their last salary and just 50.4% of BAME people have EVER negotiated a salary. So, what gives? And how can we start channelling that white male privilege like the rent is due tonight?
Take it from us: when it comes to negotiation it’s all about practice. Here are our top six ways to get more money and help others along the way.
USE GLASSDOOR RELIGIOUSLY
The ultimate negotiation tool? Glassdoor. Put simply, it’s the best way to do your research and enter any negotiation conversation with a wealth of knowledge.
Look up the company you’re interviewing with and, if it’s a decent size, you’ll find the average salary for your exact role, together with the maximum and minimum salaries on record. That’ll give you a good idea of what’s reasonable to request (and teach you how to spot when you’re being lowballed).
Pro tip: Can’t find the company you’re looking for? Compare it to others in your industry. It’s all about those averages, y’all.
Glassdoor salary data is all provided by current and former employees. This stuff is legit.
FORTUNE FAVOURS THE BOLD
We get paid what we negotiate, not what we deserve. Sad, but true. And if you’re from a minority background, you’ll likely be offered even less than the rest.
What does that mean? It means you need to stop being polite about money. It’s on you to ask for the highest salary you can say with a straight face. You might not get that number, but you’d best believe you’ll more than if you don’t speak up.
To get even more from your negotiation…
TALK IN SALARY RANGES RATHER THAN SPECIFICS
A moment of silence for the old school way of stating a specific salary and sticking to it.
Pro tip: you don’t have to! There’s no good reason to share your currently salary with a hiring manager either. Instead, the best way to play it is all about the ranges. Say something like “I’m looking for around £75-£85k to move roles.” Can we get a hallelujah?
Here’s another negotiation tip if you know the salary range the employer has in mind: make sure the high end of your range is slightly above the what they’re offering. They’ll be more likely to put you on the top end of their pay scale while feeling like they’re negotiating you down.
It’s a neat psychological trick called anchoring: start high (but not unreasonably high), and the negotiation gets ‘anchored’ at the top end of the scale. Of course, they’ll try to haggle down – to the salary you wanted all along.
DON’T BLINK FIRST
Picture the scene: you’ve just requested a salary range that’s a fair bit higher than what the employer had in mind. There’s silence in the room. It’s hella awkward.
Whatever you do – don’t break that silence.
You’ll be tempted to lower your ask just to fill the pause (the British are super guilty of this). That’s just selling yourself short. Let the employer come back with a counteroffer if you’re more expensive than they thought. If the interview went well, they’re not going to take the offer off the table because you’ve gone in a bit high.
And when they come back lower? Repeat their offer in an underwhelmed tone, and let it hang there for a good five seconds. They might just start talking themselves higher.
Ultimately, if you’re not impressed by what they’re prepared to pay, tell them you’ll need some time to consider the offer before making a decision. Let them sweat. Even if you don’t get a counteroffer, you can rest easy knowing you got everything you possibly could.
THINK ABOUT NON-FINANCIAL PERKS
Negotiating doesn’t have to be all about cold, hard cash. When you’re going for a new role, factor in those all-important things money can’t buy: flexible working, health benefits, holidays…
Benefits with no upfront cost are particularly attractive to startups. They might not be able to afford healthcare, but what are some extra working-from-home days between friends?
If you’re going for senior roles (and, y’know, you actually believe in the company) don’t forget to negotiate equity too. It’s all part of your pay package – you should feel confident discussing the lot.
So you’ve secured a killer starting salary. Boom. Nice job. But please, don’t let it be your finishing salary. Equip yourself with the skills to get the juiciest raise out of every performance review.
First, if your starting salary negotiation includes the promise of a raise after an initial trial period – get that in writing. If it’s not in your contract, it never happened. Stay sharp.
Second, document your every achievement in the role. Keep them in a spreadsheet, a Google Doc, it doesn’t matter. Just make sure you’ve got a record of what you’ve done for the company in clear, measurable terms. Knowing what additional responsibilities you’ve taken on is particularly valuable. That’s how you prove that you’re worth extra money when your review rolls around.
But remember: you’re never more powerful than when you’re starting a job, and every time you don’t negotiate, you keep salaries down for other people like you.
At Black Unicorn we will always be upfront and real in everything we do and say, giving that little push or lift when its needed. If you’re open to exploring new meaningful work, get in touch. We’d love to talk.