Talking Salary: Pointers for Individuals Who Struggle With the Conversation

Whether asking for a raise or interviewing for a new position, things can become uncomfortable rather quickly when the discussion turns to salary. If you tend to struggle with this topic of conversation, here are a few pointers to ensure you, quite literally, get the most out of the situation.

Be Prepared

Regardless of the context of the conversation, you should be aware of what you’re asking for. In other words, do your research. Going into an interview, be armed with your current salary, salary expectations, the market rate for your position, and where benefits fall into the overall package. If you’re asking for a raise, have the same information ready, plus detailed reasoning for why you deserve the pay increase.

Answer Questions in Discussion Format

You don’t need to jump into the topic of compensation immediately, and it’s even okay to wait for it to be brought up. When it does come up, make it more of a discussion instead of a question-and-answer seminar. For instance, instead of point-blank providing a hiring manager with your current salary and leaving it at that, explain how salary plays into your decision to take on a new role. Providing more background can pave the way for a conversation that gets you closer to what you want.

Be Honest

Honesty is the best policy when it comes to talking about salary. Employers, potential or current, can find out your current compensation, so lying about it won’t do you any good. When you’re honest about what you want and why, especially when asking for a raise, you essentially let an employer know what it takes to keep you on the payroll.

Know Your Worth

The most important information to have before a conversation about salary is your worth – and it’s up to you to determine what your bottom line is. Just make sure your expectations are within reason. Let an interviewer know you’re looking for an increase in order to make a move (and keep that number vague until an offer comes through). That’s not to say you should pass up on a job because they can’t meet your salary expectations. Sometimes, the right role requires a pay cut…just don’t make that decision lightly.

Money can make things awkward, but the salary topic is so important. Implement these pointers to ensure your salary-related conversation goes off without a hitch!

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