How To Land Your Dream Salary

CONGRATS! You’ve received an offer for the role of your dreams…but you are underwhelmed by the offer salary. If you’re looking for tips on how to negotiate your salary, and how to even do that before the offer by setting expectations…keep reading!

Know your worth.

Knowing your worth is never easy, but it’s importance does not need to be defended! You can’t negotiate your salary properly without knowing what you’re worth. Your level of education, certificates and awards earned, years of work experience, pedigree of past positions, professional associations and positions held, market / location in which you reside (or desire to work remote), and so much more goes into determining your worth. If you have no clue where to start, we recommend looking around on websites like Glassdoor where you can view what other people are currently making in your role/ a similar role. Surprisingly, you can even turn to the Department of Labor for guidance, as their site posts salaries of almost 1K roles. Another great source (just launched) is LinkedIn Salary. Simply input info on your current salary and location (confidential to LinkedIn), and they output market median and more.  Also, don’t be afraid to talk to people around the same career level / industry in your network. Talking salary is not something that you should hide from – as might have been the case in the past. 

Ask for a quarterly review to be put in place.

If you are hoping to increase your salary within your current company / role, request an in-person review with your manager quarterly. Be transparent with them. You should feel empowered to ask what the maximum and minimum salaries for your “band” / “title” are. Ask what more you could do to position yourself for a raise and set measurable benchmarks to getting there. Quarterly reviews can also work in your favor simply by providing you with dedicated time to “share and tell” your great contributions to the company. If you can show your boss the value you bring, a raise will come. 

Ask for what you want.

Sometimes, raises and perfect salaries don’t just happen and you have to have a conversation with your boss. Being open and honest will be best here, and your boss should hopefully be open to listening to your request. Tip: always ask for a slightly “above goal” salary, knowing that they (your company / hiring manager / HR) will counter your offer. This way, you can still receive a decent increase. If you are in the market for a new job, the recruiter will likely request your salary expectations in an introduction / screening call. Go into this conversation with a number in mind and justification for why you deserve X salary. Also, do not feel like you have to reveal your current salary.  If asked and your current salary is not in the ballpark of your goal salary (within 10%), then divert by restating your desired salary and giving a couple solid bullets on the why. 

Start any conversation with a positive mindset/ attitude. 

While sometimes you do need to ask and start salary conversations (ugh – if only merit increases were…reliable), ALWAYS go in with a positive mindset and attitude! You should never shame other co-workers on your team to make yourself look better, and you should speak to the positive ways you have impacted the company (numbers = real proof matters) while remaining humble. 

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