Negotiate Your Pay With Confidence!

It’s been said over and over – the year 2020 has been a wild ride! We’ve experienced a pandemic that has forced us to reconsider many things, including our jobs and careers. Whether you’ve been forced to reassess your job or career due to an unplanned job loss and unemployment, or if you’re currently employed but reevaluating your goals and ideals, one of the most important items to consider is your compensation and benefits package. No matter what your reason is for changing your compensation and benefits package, be prepared to negotiate. If the idea of the negotiation table scares you, follow the tips below and you’ll walk in confident and strong.

Do your research

Search online for any pay details specific to the company as well as overall pay summaries for the position/job title. A good place to start is the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Know how the company is doing as a whole. Did the pandemic, or any other industry trends, recently affect the organization? Has the organization experienced recent changes to their business model or staff? You can find details like these and more on the company’s website, social media pages and by asking anyone in your network who is well-acquainted with the company.

Know who you are

Think about what makes you the best fit for the job. What experience can you bring to the job that others don’t, or can’t, bring? Think outside the box on this one and write it down. List the ways you bring value to the team and also the reasons why you’re worth the cost. We may be living in uncertain times but you can absolutely be certain of your value and be confident when you negotiate your pay.

Determine what you want

It can be anything – pay & salary, health care benefits, a flexible schedule, the ability to work remotely. Negotiations aren’t just about money anymore. Go for it all but pick the one thing you want most.  Also, have reasons for your requests. Be ready to explain why your request is justified.

Be flexible

If achieving your number one goal just isn’t possible for the company, but you really want the job, don’t give up. Go for the next item or two on the list of what you want. For example, if there’s no room for higher pay or the salary you desire, then negotiate for more working hours, a signing bonus, or more paid time off.

Find mutual benefits

Persuading someone into anything is a lot easier if the other person benefits. Frame your conversation and negotiations as mutually beneficial. How does the company benefit by hiring you and not someone else? If you completed steps one and two above, determining this should be fairly simple. If you sell them on why they need you, rather than why you need them, you’re likely to be more successful in negotiations.


For more information, check out this article by the Harvard Business Review titled 15 Rules for Negotiating a Job Offer. To get started, complete this Salary Negotiation Worksheet. Once you spend some time evaluating your worth, and understanding just what you want or need, the negotiation room won’t be so scary.

Want more career tips from PMG? Check out our post Phone Interview Tips.

Kim Mooney, Technical Coach & Manager