Negotiate your salary skilfully

With salary negotiations, the same principles apply as to negotiations in general. Solid preparation and a realistically scaled salary request are the premises of a successful salary negotiation. A salary negotiation that it followed skilfully through provides better opportunities for success.

Remember these in salary negotiations 

  • There are two equal negotiators involved – listen to each other's arguments.
  • Try and convince your employer and make them understand your arguments.
  • If your views are highly dissimilar, try and pinpoint the differences in your viewpoints. What could work as a compromise? The outcome of the negotiation must be acceptable to both parties.
  • If the negotiations fail to lead to a solution, end the discussion and schedule a new meeting for continued salary negotiations.

How does a salary negotiation proceed?

  • Show your preparedness and solid knowledge.
  • Listen to possible counter-arguments, ask for specifics and discuss.
  • What are the differences in viewpoints? Is there a compromise to be found?
  • What is the employer's perception of your work contribution?
  • Keep your private affairs separate from salary negotiations!

Begin the discussion

  • Give an account of your work contribution during the past year. Be clear and brief with your arguments. Make use of notes you have prepared in advance. Listen to your employer's comments and considerations. Draw conclusions as to whether you are on the same page with your job description and work contribution.

Share your views

  • Tell them about your work and your own goals.
  • How well have you attained them and how have you developed in your position?
  • Explain how your development and actions have benefitted your employer. If possible, give examples of actual measures taken and achievements attained.

Provide fact-based reasoning

  • Provide fact-based reasoning for your message; by no means include your personal finances in the justifications.
  • Instead, you can bring in reference data from competing companies and the business sector.

Listen to your employer's views

  • Listen to your employer's views on your work contribution.
  • Ask for specifics and ask about matters you do not understand.
  • Also pay attention to issues your employer does not comment on at all.
  • If you and your employer see eye to eye on your job description and accomplishments at this point, present your salary demand. 
  • If you do not reach a consensus, ask for proposals for action to further the attainment of your pursued salary.

Outcome of salary negotiations

  • The outcome must be written down or stated clearly enough to ensure that neither of the parties remains uninformed.
  • Do not accept responses such as "Let's get back to this sometime later". Fix a date there and then.

After the negotiation, assess the negotiation and its results

  • Did you attain your goals? If not, why?
  • Which aspects did the employer stress?
  • What could you improve or change in future salary negotiations?
  • What information were you missing in the negotiations?
  • Keep your notes.

Salary negotiation aftercare

  • Did you attain your goals?
  • What went well and what did not?
  • What could you improve next time?
  • Keep your notes!