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How to Negotiate a Higher Salary

Updated: Mar 27, 2022

Everyone wants to get paid more, here are a few tactics on how to negotiate a higher salary at your current job.

woman in a suit

Tactic #1: Ask for a salary adjustment (if you're currently underpaid)

Before you even ask for a salary adjustment, do your research. Make sure you're talking to your colleagues and friends in HR. Do you know where you are in your salary band for employees at your level? Where do you fall compared to everyone else - both people who were promoted internally vs people who came in externally? In order to get a salary adjustment, you need to provide facts on where you stand in the band vs the median and why you deserve to be towards the middle/higher end of the band.

I know it's difficult to talk about, but you have to talk about salary with other employees (and Glassdoor). If your company doesn't disclose salary band ranges or doesn't give you an understanding of where you stand vs your peers, the best way to find out this information is by talking to others. Yes, it's uncomfortable to ask and yes, it might lead to imposter syndrome, self-doubt, feelings of jealousy, etc. But it is a great way to find out if you're being screwed. I talk about salary with colleagues that I trust and we have honest conversations about fighting for higher pay. I've shared my experiences and they've shared theirs - which has helped me when I'm going to HR to talk about my pay gap. I know what questions to ask, I know how they will retaliate and I am prepared with very specific points on how to push back.

If you do find out that you are in the lower end of your salary band even though you have the years of experience, positive performance reviews, etc, you have grounds to ask for a salary adjustment. Make sure you walk into the conversation with the facts: what is the low end of the band, what is the high end of the band, what is the median and where do you currently fall. Ask your HR partner what your compa ratio is - this will tell you how close you are to the midpoint. 100% compa ratio means you're being paid at the midpoint of the band, while anything higher than that means you're being compensated higher than the midpoint. Your employer should tell you this information or share what metrics they do look at when evaluating salary/compensation if it's not compa ratio.

Tactic #2: Make sure your manager and M+2 are also fighting for you