Negotiating salary can not only be uncomfortable, but nerve-wracking as well. Many worry that if they ask for the salary they want straight off the bat, it could affect their chances of getting the job. This leads people to undermine the salary they truly deserve and oftentimes lowball it.

Lowballing is just as bad as asking for too much and not getting the job, because you may end up stuck wondering “did my employer just get a bargain off me?”

To prevent this kind of thing from happening while still being professional, there are some key things to do while negotiating salary.

Do Your Research.

The first, and most important step, in negotiating salary is research! Without doing your homework and figuring out what the average salary in your industry is, there’s no way to tell if you’re being taken advantage of or lowballing your salary!

While salaries vary within the field due to experience, you can get a solid idea of what someone with your education and background is capable of making. This is key in salary negotiation as you will know your highest price point as well as your lowest.

Remember, things like location and demographics play into salary. The same goes for work-from-home positions. Keep this in mind when determining your asking price or negotiating an offer!  

Know your worth

Based on your research, you can determine where you fall on the salary scale. Are you a beginner? An average-skilled worker? Or are you someone on the higher end with additional degrees?

This will help you figure out if you should be earning above or below the median. It will also help you figure out why you deserve the salary you think you do.

When negotiating salary, it is important to sell yourself. If you are proposing an offer, show the employer why your work is worth the price tag. Making arguments based on research and data goes further than emotional appeal. However, If you do need that extra $10,000 to re-locate or cover daycare costs, it’s okay to mention that!

Respond to the Initial Offer Professionally and Politely 

This is a very exciting time, but don’t act on impulse. You should never respond “yes” to a job offer right off the bat, even if it’s a great one. While it is always important to be gracious and thank the company for the offer, you may need time to think or negotiate which cant be done on the spot.

Negotiating may be tough and therefore you should be clear-minded and focused when doing so. Trying to negotiate when emotions may be running high right after receiving an offer could go very wrong for many reasons. This is especially true if you feel you are being lowballed.

Instead, thank them for the offer and let them know you’ll be getting back to them soon.

Plan your counteroffer

By now, you probably have a pretty accurate idea of how much you should be earning in your field. While keeping this in mind, it is important to also stay within a reasonable range. Don’t forget to also consider your application. Stick to the initial salary range on your application.

We suggest having an anchor salary, a target salary, and a reservation point. The reservation point acts as your minimum. You will not work for less than this. The target salary is most likely to be agreed upon and probably most realistic. The anchor salary is YOUR goal. This is where you start the conversation and work your way down from there based on reaction.

Taking into consideration the variety of benefits outside of salary is also crucial as additional weeks of paid vacation time or annual bonuses could make up for a lower salary in some cases.


Negotiating salary and making sure you get the pay you deserve can be a tricky game to play. Professionalism still comes into play which is important to remember so issues can be avoided.

Research is the key to salary negotiation. Knowing the facts and data about the industry you work in makes for a solid argument. And don’t forget, sell yourself! Your work has a price tag!  

From the initial offer to setting your anchor and target salaries, these tips are sure to help you get through the salary negotiating phase smoothly.