Skills you need to negotiate your future salary

Jim Hughes

Director of Content


Are you looking to negotiate your salary for a better, more stable financial future? In this guide, we’re looking at some of the skills you need to develop in order to be in the position to ask for more money.

A lot of people could earn far more if they were able to negotiate your salary. Sadly, a lot of companies will keep you on a lower salary unless you request more. Even if you are worth more to a company, they probably won’t give you more money unless you ask for it, and learn how to negotiate a salary.

You may get the chance to request a salary review yearly, and if you are changing your job, you will also need to agree upon a salary. Negotiation skills are essential.

negotiate salary

Skills you need to negotiate your future salary. Source:

Communicating With Your Employers

This is a skill that is often overlooked when it comes to salary negotiation. Though it will be a case of “you against them” when you request more money, and it is worth having a good poker face, that doesn’t mean you can’t communicate with them.

This means you can discuss expectations, and what they are requesting from you. If your employer is asking you to take on additional duties, such as management or taking on higher targets, then that is a reasonable place to start with your negotiation. It makes sense that more responsibility should bring more money. If you aren’t able to communicate, then it can be hard to relay this expectation to a potential employer.

Understand What Other Benefits Are Worth

Many people don’t weigh up low salary vs benefits. It could be the case that you are willing to take on a lower salary in return for more benefits, including bonuses and health insurance policies.

Don’t forget that benefits are negotiable, too. They should be on the table in any salary negotiation, and companies might be willing to reward you with other benefit schemes. A lot of people just look at earnings as their main metric, but benefits might be worth more than the money itself.

Know Your Worth

We don’t just mean this in a motivational way. Knowing your worth is about more than having faith in yourself. The skill is in keeping up with industry trends and knowing what sort of salary you should be able to demand in your position. Industry publications and job salary websites should show you roughly what similar jobs are paying.

If you aren’t sure, try to keep track of what other businesses are offering their employees. You can look at job listings to see what you might be able to request. If you have been in a position for a long time then it can be easy to assume that you are being paid an industry-standard salary, but the industry may have changed.

Preparation Skills

Failure to prepare means preparing to fail. This is an old adage, but it is true. You should go into salary negotiations prepared with all of the information you need, having built your case for more money, and more benefits.

Some things you can do to prepare include looking into what other people are earning in similar positions and underlining your worth to the business. Prepare to explain the strengths that you bring the business and what you have done over the years.

Other things you can do to prepare for negotiations include having a friend (preferably someone who knows business) ask you the sort of questions you might face in a salary negotiation.

By being prepared, you are likely to be more confident when you go into negotiations. Most of the master negotiators will tell you that being during negotiations confident is a big part of getting what you want.

Timing Skills

Timing is surprisingly important when it comes to asking for a salary increase. If you are about to work on a project that is critical to the company, it could be a good time to ask for negotiation and try to get a higher salary.

Another way in which timing is important is catching people at the right time. If the HR department is always stressed approaching the end of the month, they probably aren’t open to negotiation. If your boss is always busy on a Monday and focused on other things, don’t schedule your negotiations for this time.

Learn to Sell Yourself

This is similar to knowing your worth, but the difference is that you need to know how to present yourself as a positive to the business. This is especially useful if you are looking to apply to a new position or a new company, they will want to know exactly what you are going to bring. How will you be able to show that you are better than another candidate and that you are worth a larger salary?

This might tie closely to your resume. Make a point of working out the strengths on your resume, as well as how you can counter any weaknesses. For example, if you have a gap in employment, come up with a plan for turning this into a strength if you are asked about it. Did you do anything in that time to aid your development or learn high-paying skills that are in demand? Prepare for the questions that you are likely to be asked, and prepare answers that show you in a favorable light.


Salary negotiations can get pretty complex, but if you are able to communicate clearly and honestly with your employer, you are likely to come to an agreement that you are both happy with. Most decent employers want their staff to be happy, and this involves being reasonably paid.

As long as your demands aren’t complex or outlandish, and you present your case for an increased salary well, you might end up with the upper hand in negotiations. A little bit of preparation can go a long way towards a better financial future for you and your family.

Jim Hughes has significant experience covering financial and business topics. He’s been a financial advisor and also provided consulting and advice. At the moment he is the Director of Content at 


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