How To

Tips to Negotiating a Higher Salary

raise salary payday

My husband recently started a new job and negotiated a massive 18 percent salary increase, which amounted to a raise of more than $10,000.

Here are the five things he did to negotiate a big raise:

Play it Cool

When he interviewed for his new job, he was already employed, so he started off with a strong position from which to negotiate. When asked how serious he was about his job search, he replied that he only casually searched for jobs because he was in no rush to leave. The interviewer did know he wasn’t satisfied in his current position, however.

Measure the Competition

His skills and experience are relatively unique in our local job market. Still, we live in a small city and there are not as many companies to choose from when compared to a medium or large American city. So by some measure, there is not as much competition among employers for talent.

Be Honest

He wasn’t 100% certain he wanted to leave the company. While his current job wasn’t satisfying, the employee benefits and time off were going to be hard to give up. The new job sounded exciting and had more opportunities for advancement, but it lacked the job security of his current position. He had no qualms about letting the interviewer know this.

Take Your Time

My husband got the job offer on Thursday afternoon — within hours of his second interview. We discussed it all evening and throughout the next day. Was he finally ready to accept and celebrate? He decided to consider it over the weekend. Come Monday, he was still very conflicted.

A week went by (an entire week!) and my husband still had not replied to their offer. Finally, the interviewer reached out to him. They set up a time to talk and we prepped by discussing the salient pros and cons.

I knew the chat went well because my husband told me the interviewer said, “I have a feeling we’re going to have to pry you out of there.”

Talk Benefits, Not Numbers

In final negotiations, my husband talked about his current job’s strongest points, not dollar figures. He was upfront about his defined benefit (aka: pension) and that with overtime included, he enjoyed as many as six weeks off per year.

So, instead of giving a specific salary that would lure him away from his current job, he let the interviewer come back with a new offer. The gambit paid off: his second offer was $5,000 higher and included an additional signing bonus. Cha-Ching.

What are some of your tips for negotiating a higher salary?

Julia Scott founded the money and coupon blog, BargainBabe.com.