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Saturday, July 13, 2024

How to negotiate your salary and career advancement

How to negotiate your salary and career advancement


Moving up in your career has a lot of benefits: you can learn more, develop new skills, and earn more money to help you meet your financial goals.

But for many people, negotiating their salary feels uncomfortable. One survey1 found that only 37% of people annually negotiate their salaries – while 18% never do. What’s more, 44% of respondents say they’ve never brought up the subject of a raise during their performance reviews. The biggest reason for not asking for more? Fear.

But you can take worry out of the equation by equipping yourself with market research, talking points, and a collaborative mindset. The more frequently you approach these conversations, the more confident you’ll feel.

Let’s review a few tactics for negotiating your salary and career advancement.

1. Get friendly with data

Research is the very first thing you need to do in order to prepare for a negotiation. Some resources for gathering salary data include Glassdoor, Payscale, and Gathering data is essential for two reasons:

  • First, you’ll have it on-hand for a manager or HR team who may request it.
  • Second, having data to back you up will help you remain confident in yourself. You’re not going after a random number; your salary request is based on market research.

Something else you may consider is reaching out to peers in your desired position on LinkedIn. Make sure it’s someone you can trust to give you accurate information and feedback about the position. Start friendly and casual. When you’ve arranged a time to touch base, ask things like: 

  • “What tips would you give me in negotiating a salary more in line with market value?”
  • “What level of compensation do you believe makes sense for this role, given my experience and background?”
  • “With X skills and Y experience, what would you value this role at?”          

As a bonus, this helps strengthen your network of career connections.      

2. List the ways you’ve outperformed                         

When aiming at career advancement within your own company, it’s essential to highlight your contributions to the company beyond what you were hired to accomplish.

Track down your original job description and add extra work you tackled beyond that. This list can go wide:

  • Every person you’ve managed, or cross-team relationship you’ve cultivated
  • Each project you’ve initiated or implemented, plus the impact it’s had on your team or company
  • Ways you’ve saved the company money
  • Ways you’ve added value beyond your expected list of responsibilities                                 

In handing off this list to your boss, you’re letting them know that you’ve mastered the role, added further value to the team, and are ready to take on greater challenges.                       

3. Use collaborative statements

Sometimes a negotiation process can turn tense. If at any point you get flustered, pause. Breathe. Come back to one of the following collaborative statements:

  • “I want to work together with you on this.”
  • “I’d like to find a solution that makes sense for both of us.”
  • “I want to get to a number we can agree on.”                                   

Statements like these give you the chance to remain assertive yet collaborative in your request. Negotiations shouldn’t make enemies; the process is a compromise toward common goals: productivity and satisfaction.

Practice makes perfect. Negotiation is a muscle you have to build over time.

Remember, your salary is just one consideration in your overall compensation; also keep an eye out for flexible work options, paid time off, and comprehensive health coverage.

Before stepping into your salary talk, get rooted in your “why.” Why do you want to progress at the company? Why does your work merit more compensation? Negotiating starts with knowing the value you bring to your company and what you’ll do to take it to the next level.

1 The Muse, “How to Negotiate Salary: 37 Tips You Need to Know,” April 2023.


The content contained in this blog post is intended for general informational purposes only and is not meant to constitute legal, tax, accounting or investment advice. You should consult a qualified legal or tax professional regarding your specific situation. No part of this blog, nor the links contained therein is a solicitation or offer to sell securities. Compensation for freelance contributions not to exceed $1,250. Third-party data is obtained from sources believed to be reliable; however, Empower cannot guarantee the accuracy, timeliness, completeness or fitness of this data for any particular purpose. Third-party links are provided solely as a convenience and do not imply an affiliation, endorsement or approval by Empower of the contents on such third-party websites.

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