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Part 2

Getting Paid What You’re Worth

Part 2
Do Your Homework

Interviewing well and creating an impressive resume are obviously helpful in getting a job or earning a raise. But if you’re going to walk away from the interview table with an increase in pay, you need to be willing to put in the time and effort before you ever get to that conversation in the first place.

Once you’ve done some research, you can use this information to help calculate a reasonable starting salary (for new jobs) or increase in pay (if you’re already hired).

Determining What Your Worth

Everyone wants to get paid what they’re worth, right? So the first thing you have to know is what you’re worth. Doing some homework ahead of the game is an imperative step in the process of negotiating your salary.


We estimate that 80% or more of the work you put into the process of negotiating your salary happens before you ever meet with the boss.

Suggestions to Consider

1. Utilize resources like PayScale or Glassdoor to see what other people in similar positions are earning annually.

2. Look up the company’s current yearly earnings and read articles about how the company has performed financially over the course of the last two years.

3. Research the company’s plans for the future. Be well-acquainted with strategies the company wants to employ to be more financially lucrative.

4. Consider non-salaried benefits that you could negotiate for as well. Check out our guide on negotiating non-salary perks for additional help.


Ask Open Ended Questions

Once you’ve done your research and have landed an interview, it’s your time to shine. Never underestimate the powerful impression you’ll leave when an employer can see that you’ve gone above and beyond to come to an interview knowledgeable and prepared.

Utilize the information you’ve gathered to generate thoughtful conversations during your talk with the boss. You might say something like, “According to my research, I found that the salary range for positions like mine is between $45,000 and $55,000. I think a $50,000 salary would be a fair salary for me.”

Even if your request isn’t accepted initially, you can be prepared with follow-up questions. If the answer to your $50,000 salary request is rejected, politely ask why. Understanding the position of your company, their budget or insight into future plans gives you leverage for a counteroffer. You could further ask, “Would you be willing to present my request of $50,000 to whoever will make the final decision here?” Or you might say “What would make you willing to revisit this conversation in three months?”

Notice that these open-ended questions require more than a simple yes or no answer. You’re providing a chance for a future conversation and giving the opportunity to explore options now and later.

Remember, there are plenty of examples where a less-qualified employee received a raise because they took initiative to go above and beyond in their research and pursuit of a salary increase. Employers love to know that you are self-motivated and tenacious, as both of those qualities can directly impact the company’s success.

Want to read this later? Download this guide as a PDF or eBook.