Earning Your Worth or Earning Your Asking Price

You just got offered the job you really want. The responsibilities are exactly what you’ve been looking for, and there’s a ton of room for growth with the employer.

But there’s a catch: the salary is substantially lower than you were expecting.

When a job sounds promising, but you know you’re worth more than was offered, when is the right time to broach the subject – and how can you go about it professionally? It’s easier than you think. Just follow these guidelines from PrideStaff’s employment experts:


Work through your discomfort.

Most employers expect you to negotiate salary, so they leave room in their initial offer to accommodate an increase if you ask for it. If you handle yourself professionally, the employer won’t be angry. In fact, they’ll respect you even more for asking.

If the thought of “money talk” makes you uncomfortable, know that it’s perfectly normal – but resolve to face your fear for the sake of your financial wellbeing.

Know what you’re really worth.

Determining a fair salary is about much more than the job title and your experience level. In today’s job market, factors like unemployment rates, geography and minimum wage increases all impact compensation.

In this earlier post, Are You Earning What You’re Worth, we share several practical tips for finding out what you’re worth, so you can maximize your earning potential. Here are just a few:

  • Research the going rate for your position within your industry, using sites like Payscale, Getraised and Glassdoor.
  • Factor in cost-of-living differences. If you’re relocating, use an online cost-of-living calculator to compare your old city to your new one, and consider any difference when calculating the salary you’ll request.
  • If you find that the salary offered is significantly lower than what it should be, choose a precise pay rate at the top end of the range (so you have room to compromise if necessary). The good news is, if you’ve done your homework you can easily justify the reason behind the figure you settle on.

Get the timing right.

You don’t have to start the negotiation process the instant you are offered the position. In fact, it may be in your best interest to wait a bit, so you have time to reflect and review the offer (without your future boss or HR director staring you down).

Ask about the employer’s hiring timeline, so you know how much time you have to make a decision. Then, use that time to gather data to support your stance (see above).

Stay professional.

Regardless of the outcome of your negotiations, resolve to stay calm and not take it personally. If the employer rejects your counteroffer and negotiations break down, be careful not to burn bridges. You never know who you might encounter in business down the road! Thank the employer and move on, knowing that you’ll eventually find a position in which you can earn what you’re truly worth.


Need help determining a fair salary?

Talk to a PrideStaff recruiter. We place people in a wide range of positions across the country, so we have a wealth of data and insights to share. If you need salary information, or need a great temporary or direct position, give your local PrideStaff office a call.