7 mindset shifts for mastering salary negotiations

Salary negotiations can often feel daunting, mainly because we often subconsciously perceive them as conjuring an unequal power struggle between a prospective employee (with little to no power) and an employer (with all of the power).

That said, adopting the right mindset for salary negotiations can completely transform this experience into a mutually beneficial business deal. In this article, we’ll explore the most important mindset shifts to make in preparation for a salary negotiation, emphasizing that negotiations are not just about you needing the company, but also about the value both parties bring to the table.

Mindset Shift 1: Equal partners in a business deal
A significant shift in perspective is to view salary negotiations as a business transaction rather than a one-sided power dynamic. Both you and the employer are investing time, skills, and resources into this partnership. Just like any business deal, both parties expect to gain value from the exchange. Embrace the idea that your skills and contributions are assets that the company values and ultimately needs to continue to be successful.

Mindset Shift 2: Know your worth
Before entering salary negotiations, it’s crucial to understand your market value. Research the industry standards and average salaries for your role and experience level. This knowledge empowers you to make a well-informed case for your desired compensation. Remember, the company needs to secure your talents in order to maintain, or even advance, their business. 

Mindset Shift 3: Highlight your value proposition
Shift your focus from merely needing the company to genuinely appreciating the value you bring. Prepare a compelling argument showcasing your achievements, skills, and contributions. Highlight instances where you’ve positively impacted projects, increased efficiency, or demonstrated leadership. Demonstrating your impact demonstrates that you’re an essential asset, not just a replaceable employee.


Contributor Kwame Christian is a lawyer, author and CEO of the American Negotiation Institute based in Columbus, Ohio.


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