I know many people cringe when talking about negotiating salary, especially the one you know you deserve. It can be a bit nerve wracking, but it’s important to get the salary you are worth. It can make you feel demanding, pushy, or controlling, but many times we earn less than we are worth because we are afraid to ask for a raise. These are 7 rules for negotiating your salary:

  1. Remember it is a negotiation. So let your employer start the negotiation by first naming a price. It is best to let them set the starting figure. This sets the bar. The person throwing out the first number always loses, so let the employer start.
  2. Once the negotiation has started, don’t stop there. Take some time to think over the offer and let your employer know that. Think it over. Is this what your worth or should you negotiate for a higher number?
  3. Don’t get emotional. It’s important to keep your emotions out of this. When you get emotional, you won’t be thinking rationally. This may be a long process of going back and forth, so you must stay calm and level headed.
  4. When you are assessing what salary you are worth, are you including benefits in that figure as well? Remember, benefits can add a significant amount to total compensation. Be sure to properly analyze the entire compensation package before making a final decision.
  5. Analyze who you are working for. If this is a fortune 500 company, they can afford a lot more than a small business. Take into consideration the size of the organization when you are negotiating your salary.
  6. Do your research. It’s important to assess the job position and the company for what the average salary is. The more educated you are in what you should be paid can go a long way. There are many resources on the Internet you can use to assess your salary and what companies are paying their employees.
  7. Stay professional! This can be a difficult process so it is important to stay professional. Present what you think you are worth and why, keeping in mind that you are working with these people.