How to Negotiate Your Salary When You’re New to the Workforce


When you are new to the workforce, the idea of negotiating your salary can be intimidating. It isn’t uncommon to question your worth or worry that requesting more money will lead a company to rescind their offer. Plus, the process can be somewhat uncomfortable, making younger professionals even more reluctant to attempt to negotiate.

But, by not negotiating your salary, you miss out in both the short- and long-term. Most businesses will base their offer on your previous salary, so starting out lower hurts you throughout your entire career.

If you want to begin your career in the best position possible, here are some tips for negotiating your salary when you’re new to the workforce.

Research Your Worth

If you want to relieve your anxiety about your value and position yourself well during a negotiation, you need to research your worth. Sites like Glassdoor and Salary can help you figure out what professionals with similar qualifications are earning in your area, giving you an idea of what pay level would be considered fair.

Have this data readily available when you negotiate. This allows you to reference specific numbers with greater ease and justify your request.

Know the Company’s Needs

Ultimately, a business hires an employee to solve a problem. Maybe they need a specific skill set for a particular project or require additional workers based on demand for their products or services.

Understanding the company’s needs lets you know what you need to focus on during your negotiation. You can discuss what experiences or skills you possess that can help them solve their problem, making it easier for them to grasp your potential value to the organization.

Look Beyond Pay

While your salary is important, it only represents a portion of your total compensation package. Other benefits and perks, ranging from retirement options to flexible schedules to paid time off, also provide value. Look at the entire benefits package as you negotiate to make sure they meet your needs.

In some cases, you can also negotiate for better benefits if a company can’t offer a higher salary. For example, maybe additional paid time off or the option to work from home can compensate for lower pay. If so, ask if they can be adjusted to make the offer more attractive.

Practice Your Delivery

It’s wise to practice your negotiation just as you would answers to interview questions. This will make you more comfortable with your main points and ensure your delivery is smooth and professional.

Consider any points where the company may push back and form a response that can reserve as a response to their concerns or as justification. Avoid being pushy, but make sure to convey confidence. Otherwise, the hiring manager may doubt that you truly believe you deserve what you are asking for, making it more likely that they will stick to their original position.

By using the tips above, you can negotiate your initial salary effectively. If you are interested in learning more or are seeking out new opportunities, the professionals at Bayside Solutions can help. Contact us to speak with one of our knowledgeable staff members today and see how our expertise can benefit you.