Prepare carefully for a salary discussion

Salary negotiations should always be held when starting at a new workplace, when your duties change or your responsibilities are increased, or if your job description is otherwise expanded. Salary negotiations should be held on an annual basis in conjunction with development discussions, for example, or in separate salary discussions or when required by changes in your job description.

You should prepare carefully for a salary negotiation. It is not enough to argue that "this is the salary paid for these duties according to statistics". You should validate your salary request based on your job grade, the binding effect of your duties and your accrued experience. Our Salary radar (on member pages) allows you to ensure that your salary request is within the right range.

How to prepare for a salary negotiation

Examine your employment contract, your employer's personnel policy and salary policy specifications, the collective agreement applied to your sector and any available salary statistics and comparisons.

Review your work situation and analyse your duties and their grades

Have you been assigned new and more demanding duties, projects or responsibilities?

  • Have you gained more competence in specific areas, and how does this affect your work?
  • Have you achieved/contributed to an improved result/a win/profitability?
  • Do you put in a lot of overtime and are you compensated for it?
  • What has been agreed upon? And for what do you receive rewards? What is the salary level of the position?
  • Which goals have been set for you and how have you succeeded in them?
  • Has your company taken restructuring measures and have they affected your duties?

Consider your personal development and possible desires for changes in your job description

  • Do you have knowledge or skills that you are unable to use in your work? Is your employer aware of them?
  • What new duties would you like to take on, or what duties could you perhaps hand over to someone else?
  • Are you ready to assume more responsibility?
  • Consider the goals of the company and the goals of your own activities and position. How have you contributed to the attainment of your company's goals with your own actions and performance?

Set a goal for your salary discussion 

  • Once you have looked at your personal traits and your job description, use this information to set a goal for your pay rise. Your salary proposal should be accurate, not include several options. You should also compare your situation to the general salary development among your colleagues and in your company.
  • Your reasoning must be well-prepared and aligned to the needs of your employer.
  • Also consider how the employer will benefit from your pay rise and prepare yourself for possible counter-arguments by the employer. 
  • Write down your goal and reasoning.

Make use of information provided by The Finnish Business School Graduates' salary counselling. Salary radar allows you to make comparisons with your salary level. Our career coaches provide coaching assistance for specifying your salary request.