Three tips for negotiating a higher salary

The current labour market in Canada favours job seekers as employers are struggling to fill job openings. The low unemployment rate we’re experiencing has companies increasing the salaries they are offering in order to attract staff. So, if you are changing jobs in the near future, this is a great time to negotiate a better deal.

(Studies have shown that fewer than half of people negotiate their salaries or ask for raises, and those who do end up making considerably more money than those who don’t.)

Here’s how it’s done.

Hopefully, the employer will be the first one to mention the salary range for the job you’re applying for. This is a good sign that they are interested in you, and they want to make sure that you are willing to work for the salary they can afford to pay.

In salary negotiations, being the first person to say a specific number puts you at a disadvantage. You could end up low-balling yourself, hurting future pay prospects or you might price yourself out of the job. However, in some situations, you might to have to. Here’s how to get the best deal:

– When stating your salary expectations, name a wide range. For example, “I know that positions at this level usually pay between $60,000 and $80,000, and with my level of experience, I would fall into the higher end of that range. However, the final number is going to depend upon numerous factors about the role itself. Can we discuss those?”

Do your research, and base that range on current market conditions for your field. Statistics Canada regularly publishes data on how much Canadian jobs pay by region and sector.

– Demonstrate why you merit being higher up in that salary range. This is where you highlight your previous accomplishments and explain how they indicate the levels of success you can reach for your new employer. You need to show that you bring a greater value to the company than rival candidates might, and that’s why you should receive greater pay for your contributions.

– Consider more than just your salary. Remember that you are negotiating for a total compensation package, not just your base pay. Receiving perks such as increased vacation time, flexible scheduling, or the ability to telecommute can have a bigger impact on the quality of your working life than a few extra dollars.

Not negotiating your salary can cost you tens of thousands of dollars over the course of your career. Don’t leave that money on the table. The labour market conditions are highly favourable for candidates right now. Make the most of it.

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