How To Negotiate Your First Salary

How To Negotiate Your First Salary

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For many people, the first salary negotiation of their career is a nerve-wracking experience. You want to get paid what you deserve and not take too big of a risk, but on the other hand, it’s your first job so you don’t want to go in too low either. This article will give you some tips on how to negotiate your first salary offer so that everyone leaves feeling like they got something out of the deal!


The First Thing To Do Is Research

Find out how much people in similar positions and companies are getting paid so that you have a good benchmark for what’s reasonable. It can also be helpful to look at salary surveys of your area or industry as well as the company itself, but those aren’t always reliable because they often just take averages across entire regions or job functions. In addition to looking at salaries, it’s a good idea to research common benefits in the industry so you can compare them against what your employer is offering. It may seem like a small thing, but not being able to afford health insurance will have a big impact on both your personal and professional life! Finally, look at what other perks and benefits come with the job. Some companies will offer free lunches or gym memberships, for example, which can be a great way to save money over time even if they don’t seem like much on their own.


Understand Goals

Once all that research is done you’ll want to understand your employer’s goals before going into negotiations. Ask them what kind of employee they need to accomplish their goals and make sure you can demonstrate that you’re the right person for this job. If at all possible, try to get a good idea of how much your future manager likes the company as well because it will give you an indication of whether or not they are willing (or able) to negotiate.


Know Your “Walk Away” Price

Finally, you need to know what your “walk away” price is. This means the lowest offer they could make where you would still be happy with the salary and benefits package. Knowing this number will help give you some confidence when it comes time to negotiate because if their offers get too low then that’s probably not a good fit for either of you.


Actual Negotiation Tips

Once all that research is done and your goals are clear, it’s time to prepare for the actual negotiations themselves. You’ll want to make sure you know what their initial offer will be so that if they come in too low then this becomes a good opportunity to talk about benefits instead of salary (more on why below). If their offer is reasonable then you’re going to want a good reason for why you deserve more money. You can also ask about what they see in the future and whether or not that might be a factor in additional raises down the line, but only if their offer is very generous because it’s unlikely they’ll have much room left afterward!

In some cases, it can be helpful to ask for a certain number of benefits instead of salary. This is especially true if you know there’s room in the budget because they may need some time to figure out what those are, but also don’t make too many requests or your offer could get dragged down by them.

In addition to asking about future opportunities and benefits, you can also consider using other negotiating tactics. For example, if they seem like they’re very concerned about costs then it might be worth asking why the budget is so low (or that specific number). Sometimes this will actually lead to an opportunity where more resources are available than first thought and your negotiations could end up with getting a bigger raise!

Finally, you’ll need to play a little bit of defense in some cases. If their offer is too low then it’s time for them to start bringing up additional perks and benefits so that they don’t lose the deal entirely! In most cases, though, your goal should be to get an offer with decent money from the beginning because if they’re unwilling to make a good initial offer then it’s unlikely, you’ll be able to get much out of them in the long run.



It can feel intimidating to ask for more money when negotiating your first salary, but if you want what you’re worth then there’s really no reason not to! Just remember that before going into negotiations and plan ahead so that you know what your goals are and how to achieve them.

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