The Negotiation

Photo by Christina @ on Unsplash

Did you know that changing jobs can often be one of the best ways to get a significant raise? According to this article by Indeed, it’s a generally accepted practice to ask for 10-20% more than you currently make when taking a new job. Meanwhile, this survey by Willis Towers Watson asserts that pay raises for current employees hovers around only 2.7% this year and is projected to rise to around 3.0% in 2022, which falls far short of the salary you could get by changing organizations.

I don’t necessarily advocate being a mercenary and putting yourself at risk to be labeled a job-hopper by frequently making job changes just for the money. However, the following are good reasons to pursue a job change:

  • If you are underpaid compared to others in your organization with similar roles
  • If you have gone more than a couple of years without a raise despite growing job duties and expectations
  • If you have made a case for a raise to your current organization and been turned down without a good reason
  • If you can no longer make ends meet on a single full-time job


So if you’ve realized that your best option is to change jobs, how can you make the most of this opportunity? Here are my suggestions to effectively negotiate your next role:

  • Look for job listings that have a salary range posted. You’ll save time by not applying to positions that plan to pay less than you are making now.
  • Know what you are worth. If you’re currently underpaid, a 10-20% wage increase may still be less than you are worth in the market. Do your research and review job listings for your role and industry. Look online for salary survey results and use online pay calculators on PayScale, GlassDoor, or other sites to determine what you should be making in your geographical area. Go into the negotiation process knowing what salary you need before you consider accepting.
  • Prove your worth. Use your past work performance to demonstrate your value to a likely employer. Give solid, measurable reasons for why you should have the salary you are asking for. Just wanting to make more money for personal reasons won’t cut it. The prospective employer needs to feel that you are worth the salary they are offering.
  • Salary is not the only thing you should negotiate. Paid time off, schedule, work location (do I hear work from home or hybrid?), benefits, bonuses, and title are all things you should negotiate. Make sure that any concessions you receive here are spelled out in the offer letter before you sign it.
  • Use the power of leverage. Having multiple offers in hand can give you the flexibility to set your own terms and select your best opportunity.


Women, be careful here. I hate to say it but implied bias could work against you here. In this article by Harvard Business School, using an outside offer aggressively can create a backlash that can mean losing a job offer. If that’s the situation you run into, you probably don’t want to work for that organization anyway because the bias will extend to future raises, bonuses, and promotions as well.

Remember that no one else will advocate for you; it’s up to you to advance your own career, which sometimes means making a job change.