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Getting the pay raise you deserve

Six experts share their salary negotiation tips.

Whether it’s your first job or you’re well into your employment, negotiating a salary is a skill you’ll use throughout your career. Even if you have a job with the potential for big pay increases, you may find it intimidating to ask your boss for a raise.

To help you negotiate a mutually beneficial deal for you and your company, we’ve rounded up top tips for negotiating a salary from some of the best career experts in the field.

19LongName: Roy Cohen
Blogs: Career Coach NY

Roy Cohen specializes in career management, executive coaching and leadership development. For more than 10 years, he’s worked with clients from diverse industries and provided career counseling for Goldman Sachs.

Roy suggests handling the negotiation strategy with skill, diplomacy and finesse to demonstrate immediate and long-term benefits for you and your company.

  • Salary negotiation should be a collaborative process, as opposed to an ultimatum, that works toward creating a mutually beneficial package. Most negotiations have give and take. Therefore, determine what’s most important to you and what you’re willing to trade off.
  • Do your homework before going into a negotiation. Think about what’s reasonable for your company, and compare your salary with similar positions before making unrealistic terms.
  • Keep in mind that other options that can be negotiated, like:
    • A shorter review period.
    • A bigger title.
    • Flex time or the option to telecommute.
    • Guaranteed severance and outplacement services.

19LongName: April Klimkiewicz
Blogs: Bliss Evolution

Since 2004, April Klimkiewicz has offered expert career advice for complicated situations. As someone who once didn’t know what to do with her career, she understands the struggles of recent graduates and young professionals. She hopes her clients can benefit from her insights and quickly discover what took her years to realize.

April’s strategic advice focuses on the power of words. She teaches what to and what not to mention during a salary negotiation and shows how a conversational style can affect the outcome of the negotiation.

  • Lead with your talent rather than your need. Emphasize your accomplishments, your projects and the excellent work that can back up the fact that you’re a vital asset to the company.
  • Show your company that you’re on the same boat. Emphasize your love for the job and your coworkers, and convince your company that you’re working toward a similar goal. This way, the negotiation process will feel more like an agreement, rather than a point of contention.
  • Let the company name a number first to avoid calling a lower one than they’re willing to offer.
  • Know the average salary for your industry, then set a salary goal and ask for slightly more. If your employer counters with a middle, you’ll have a number that’s close to your desired salary. Best-case scenario, you might get more!

19LongName: Aurora Meneghello
Blogs: Repurpose Your Purpose

With years of experience in teaching, facilitation and training skills, marketing and branding and a deep interest in philosophy, psychology and spirituality, Aurora Meneghello founded Repurpose Your Purpose to offer practical out-of-the-box career advice. She prepares recent college graduates and young professionals for the transition to a new career and directs those who feel stuck or lost in their professional journey.

  • Emphasize that you’ll only take a position offering a compensation package that’s commensurate to the values you bring, but also express your love and passion for the position. And let your company know that you want to keep doing what you enjoy.
  • Everything is negotiable. Other than a higher salary, you can ask for more vacation days, telecommuting options and better health care.
  • Do your research by having a clear idea of how much people in your industry make. Knowing what the market pays helps you overcome insecurities and gives you confidence during the negotiation process.
19LongName: Angela Copeland
Blog: Copeland CoachingFor the past 10 years, Angela Copeland has coached job seekers throughout all stages of the job-searching process, from submitting an application to negotiating a salary. Her company’s nationwide locations give her the breadth to understand the differences between states, which she believes is important to acknowledge.
  • Do your homework. Research the salary of your peers in the industry through sites like PayScale, Glassdoor and the Department of Labor. Consider your geographic region, as pay varies depending on the city you work in. This will give you an idea of what’s appropriate to expect from your employer.
  • Know about interview questions that are legal to ask in your area. For example, asking how much you used to make with a former employer is banned in a handful of states and cities.

19LongName: Anita Bruzzese
Blog: 45 Things

An award-winning journalist with 25 years of experience, Anita Bruzzese is a notable presence in the workplace-advice arena who writes about career topics. Anita relays workplace issues that arise and often go unknown to her audience.

  • Take time to think about an offer. Think about your experience and the values you bring to the company, and come up with a fair amount that both you and your company can agree on.
  • Never be afraid to counter your offer. Your salary affects you for years to come, and it sets the bar for future pay raises and other offers.
19LongName: Jena Viviano
Blog: Jena VivianoWith her passion to empower motivated corporate professionals to “cultural rich” companies, Jena Viviano has established herself as an expert career strategist. Jena has worked with more than 800 clients worldwide, helping mid- to senior-level professionals to become irresistible hires to land their dream jobs.
  • It’s a known tactic for interviewers to ask you for a specific figure. However, never give just one number when asked for a salary expectation. Instead, provide a range. The last thing you want is to call a number that’s lower than what your employers were expecting to give you.
  • Salary should not be the only thing you consider. Employees can benefit from bonus opportunities, stock options, vacation and work-from-home options. Prioritize what’s most important, and negotiate from what’s on top of the list.
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Rachel Dix-Kessler is a former public relations manager at She's at the forefront of personal finance and trends affecting Americans, helping them to make better and more informed financial decisions. See full bio

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