6 Things You Need to Figure Out Before You Negotiate Salary

First of all, you know that salary negotiation is a no-brainer. I can think of very few instances in which you can skip it and not regret it later.

But, knowing you need to negotiate and knowing what you should before you actually put that into practice is another thing. This list will ensure that you don’t miss a thing that could help get you the money you deserve:

1. What’s the Salary Range?

Have you been on PayScale or looked at the salaries on Indeed? You want to look at the average and take things like location and number of years of experience (for a specific title) into consideration. Here are six free calculators you can check out to make an accurate assessment.

2. What Are Your Needs?

It’s fine if you want to make a lot of money. No one’s begrudging you that, but that shouldn’t be your number one motivator in this conversation. Obviously, everyone would like to make more, but that’s not the foot you want to start out on. It might help to think of the amount you need to survive and to pay off student loans and save for retirement—not the money you want to splurge on a summer beach house with your best friends.

Besides cash money, though, you no doubt have non-monetary needs worth considering. More on that in the last point here.

3. What Are You Bringing to the Table?

Do you have special training or hold a certificate in a course that’ll enable you to do more than the average employee at this level? Do you have a graduate degree? Lots of experience and leadership skills? Are you a superstar job candidate? Know what makes you valuable.

4. What Will the Salary Look Like After Direct Deposit?

That’s essentially your target number. Don’t be fooled by the initial compensation offer, which is going to look a lot different once you factor in taxes, health insurance, disability, and more, depending on where you live.