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A non-negotiators guide to negotiating your job and salary


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Salary negotiations are tricky conversations. For many people, negotiating conditions and salary can be an uncomfortable process. The good news is, negotiating a salary is quite simple and straightforward. You don’t have to learn the tactics and methods of an FBI hostage negotiator to get a deal that works for you. All you have to do is follow a few simple guidelines, and you’ll be well on your way to a salary that meets your needs.


Be enthusiastic, but also willing to walk away: This first rule seems counterintuitive but is very important. Giving yourself the freedom to walk away from a negotiation puts you at an advantage. If you are desperate for a deal, then you are putting yourself in a position where you might not be able to meet your expenses. This puts a strain on you and the company.


Moreover, if you are willing to cut your desired salary, then you are walking into the negotiation at a disadvantage. None of these is desirable. The best is to have an idea of your salary to meet your needs and be willing to walk away if that is not reached.


Manage salary expectations: perhaps you have no idea how much you should be paid. Determining your salary range is crucial and luckily there several ways to determine your range. Websites like and offer tons of information. They provide info for types of jobs and location to help you get a better idea.


In some cases, the job posting will give you the salary. If neither is possible, there is a third way. Reach out to people in similar fields and ask them about what is right for the position you are in. When entering negotiating, you want to have a range. This includes a low number and a high number. The small number should be based on what you can live with, covering your costs and savings. The high number, on the other hand, is the salary you want. Getting this range before walking into a negotiation helps set expectations between you and your potential employer.


Know that it’s not all about the salary: some jobs might provide a lower salary but may come with great benefits and learning opportunities. Other jobs might provide a higher salary but with no benefits and learning opportunities.


It’s not either/or scenario, but it is important to recognize the other features of your salary package. That said, don’t forget to be willing to walk away. You want to have a number and stick to it. But also consider the other factors and how it impacts your future and quality of life.


Negotiating a salary is a critical step in your career. It is a moment where difficult questions get asked, but one whose answers will have a significant impact on your life. Negotiating a salary is about revealing your self-worth to your potential employer. It’s something employers care a lot about and respect, and something that shows when you confidently and firmly walk in to secure your job.