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EURES (EURopean Employment Services)
News article7 March 2019European Labour Authority, Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion2 min read

Salary negotiation: Where should I start?

During your career, you might get a chance to negotiate your salary. It’s a tricky task. Do you go high and risk causing offence? Or do you go low and risk undervaluing your skills? In this article, we offer some tips to get you started.

Salary negotiation: Where should I start?

Do your research

You’ll want to go into the negotiation with a clear salary figure – or salary range – in mind so that you have a good starting point to build on. But it’s important to make sure that this figure is a realistic one or you may find that the negotiation doesn’t go the way you hoped. Researching similar positions to yours, and the related salaries, is a great way of getting a clear picture about what you should be aiming for and will give you a stronger overall negotiating position.

Know your own worth

Maybe you’re great at sales. Maybe you can type 70 words per minute. Maybe you can take a concept and transform it into something magical. Whatever your skills, they make you valuable to any company. They also make great negotiating points, so make sure you take them into account when you’re preparing your case.

Let the employer take the lead

Like you, the employer will probably have a clear salary figure in mind. While it might be similar to yours, it could also be quite different. Letting them take the lead and reveal their figure first will allow you to see how close your expectations are and give you the chance to adjust your own figure if you want to.

Keep it impersonal

What we earn can have a big impact on many areas of our lives, which can make a salary negotiation a very personal experience. While that’s understandable, it’s important to try and keep emotion out of the process as much as possible. Remaining cool and calm will help you to present a professional appearance that is likely to appeal to employers. Getting emotional, on the other hand, may risk alienating the employer and weakening your negotiation.

Take your time

Salary negotiation can be scary and stressful, so it might be tempting to rush through it as quickly as possible. Resist that urge! Take your time and ensure that you cover all of the points that are important to you. The last thing you want is to come away from the negotiation process with regrets.

We hope this advice helps you to achieve the salary you want. Good luck with your negotiations!

Article produced in partnership with EURES, the European Job Mobility Portal​.


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