Three tips on how to negotiate better salary:

  1. Know your value
  2. Know the starting point
  3. Counteroffer

Negotiating with a current or future employer is not easy and makes most of us uncomfortable. But you won't get what you don't ask for. Whether you are starting a new job, negotiating a promotion or you finally got the nerve to ask for that raise — don’t limit yourself to the discussion of salary only, but think about how your compensation and benefits package can fit your needs.

There are some common problems many of us face when it comes to negotiating with employers: lack of preparation, lack of confidence and lack of negotiating skills. 

How to negotiate a better benefits package in three simple steps:

1. Know your value.

Research the value of your skills and experience in the market. Get a good idea what companies pay employees in similar roles in your industry. Don’t undersell yourself, and take your personal skills and background such as education, experience, certifications and previous responsibilities into account.

2. Know the starting point.

Negotiations are all about preparation and patience. If possible, get the employer to disclose a number before you share what you are looking for, but this can be awkward. If you feel uncomfortable waiting, provide a range based on your research and comment that you expect a fair pay and benefits package that takes your qualification and experience into consideration.

3. Counteroffer.

Employers do expect candidates to counter offer, so this is not you overstepping or being difficult. Ask for what you know you're worth. Your counter offer can include more than your base salary, and is the opportunity to negotiate other benefits that matter to you. Prepare a summary of your ideal offer and know in your mind how flexible you are on each item.

How to ask for more money (and benefits).

There are a number of benefits you might want to consider in negotiations with current and future employers. Have a look at some suggestions below that might inspire you to put together your ideal salary and benefits package for your next negotiation.

1. Early salary review

The salary you are willing to agree on is not what you hoped for, so negotiate an earlier performance review in six or nine months time. This lands you the job and gives you time to prove your value to the company.

2. Job title

Make sure your title reflects your position correctly and ask for a title change if that’s not the case. This will make you feel more confident and it will look good on your CV when you start looking for the next opportunity.

3. Flexible working

One of the best non-salary benefits to negotiate is a flexible schedule. Most likely you won’t be able to work full-time from home, but even a part-time compromise can help you save some money and improve your work-life balance. Did you know that 44% wouldn’t accept a job if it didn’t provide flexibility around where they work, and 46% wouldn’t accept a job if it didn’t provide flexibility around working hours (source: workmonitor 2023). Use this to your advantage and be comfortable knowing that the desire for flexibility is common.

4. Extended training budget

This request signals that you're interested in growing professionally, which benefits you and the company. Find out what opportunities your employer provides for general training, certifications and additional development and negotiate this benefit to fit your ambitions.

5. Better equipment and software

For most roles, the standard office equipment is all that is needed, but other positions might benefit from newer technology. Put a case for why and how better tools will make you more effective and result in an increase in the quality of your work.

And remember, stay proactive and negotiate. This is your career and nobody is going to advance it on your behalf. If you believe you deserve a better offer, promotion or a salary increase, don’t sit around and wait for someone to notice - ask for it.