Salary negotiation – it’s hard. There is no simple, easy way to do it. Even when you’re prepared, it can be a tough conversation to have. And in your lifetime, you may only do it a handful of times.

But negotiating your salary is also extremely important. That first salary sets the tone for the rest of your career. If you negotiate a $40,000 salary, and just get 5% raises for 5 years, that leaves you at $51,051 at year 5. But if you can start at $50,000, those same 5% raises would bring you to $63,814.

And for many employers, there’s not a lot of difference between $40,000 and $50,000 – but it means a big difference to you. Here are three tips to get you there.

1.Know Your Numbers and Expect To Negotiate

 The first tip is to know your numbers and negotiate towards the amount you deserve for the role you’re taking. This means doing research on what the position pays at the company, and what similar positions pay elsewhere.

Two good resources to check are and You can look up job titles and see what other people are being paid in the same position, within the same geographic location. Knowing what to expect and where you should be is a great starting point.

Companies expect to negotiate salary to a point. They typically have a salary range at which they’re able to offer a position, and stick to the lower third of the range for the initial offer. If you ask, they can come up a bit. But you have to ask.

 2.Be Calm, Courteous, and Professional

When it comes to actually discussing your pay, be calm, courteous, and professional.

This means you should wait for the offer from the company first, and only then counter. If the company is even making an offer, it means they want to hire you, so you have that going for you.

When asking for more, keep it open and friendly, such as “Thank you so much for the generous offer, but I’d like to discuss the salary. Is there any room for negotiation on this number?” This shows you’re thankful, and you want to have a dialogue – not a demand.

If you demand too much, it could come across wrong and lower your chances of getting any additional pay.

 3. Know Your Minimum and Don’t Be Afraid To Walk Away

Finally, you need to know the minimum you’re willing to accept, and you can’t be afraid to walk away.

If the company doesn’t meet your minimum (and it’s really a reasonable request based on research), two things will likely happen:

  1. You’ll be frustrated with the company if you end up accepting the offer and likely won’t preform well.
  2. The company will be frustrated with you because of your engagement, or lack thereof.

It really saves everyone the trouble if you simply stick to your minimum and walk away if the fit isn’t right.

Sometimes, the company will want you enough to compromise and come up to your minimum. Other times they won’t. Don’t stick around if they wont – you’ll always regret it in the end.

Please note that the information provided on this website is provided on a general basis and may not apply to your own specific individual needs, goals, financial position, experience, etc. LendKey does not guarantee that the information provided on any third-party website that LendKey offers a hyperlink to is up-to-date and accurate at the time you access it, and LendKey does not guarantee that information provided on such external websites (and this website) is best-suited for your particular circumstances. Therefore, you may want to consult with an expert (financial adviser, school financial aid office, etc.) before making financial decisions that may be discussed on this website.