Salary negotiation: how to do it well?

A high salary is undoubtedly one of the more important factors motivating people to work. Satisfying earnings increase the comfort of life, provide more opportunities, and – whether we want to admit it or not – partly bring happiness. After all, we work to live, not live to work! However, there is no doubt that salary negotiations are not the easiest – both for employees with many years of experience and for those who are just starting their professional careers. How to do it well? Today, we’ll discuss how to talk about a raise.

Why are we afraid to talk about money with an employer?

Did you know that over half of the candidates do not negotiate for a higher rate? For the vast majority, talking about money is too embarrassing. Potential employees fear that the employer will choose another candidate or that they will be perceived as too greedy.

Money is still somewhat of a taboo topic in the Polish market—largely due to employers who do not provide salary ranges in job advertisements. Often, they also do not inform candidates about future earnings in the initial stage of recruitment. How, then, can they not be afraid to negotiate terms before signing a contract?The same is true for employed workers trying to get a promotion or raise. According to a report, barely 15% of working Poles think that negotiation is a simple matter because a good employee deserves better earnings.Where lies the problem? Nobody teaches us how to talk about money. Many people do not know negotiation techniques, which could significantly ease the matter. We fear that by bringing up the topic of higher wages, it will negatively impact our future. In reality, however, we have nothing to lose. It’s worth discussing a higher salary because, contrary to appearances, we have a lot to gain!

Why is it worth initiating a conversation about a raise?

Research shows that most raises are those proposed by the employer themselves. According to the portal, only 1/5 of employees themselves seek higher remuneration. That’s not very good. Salary negotiation is a good way to demonstrate your value. By bringing up the topic of a raise, you prove that you think strategically and can take initiative. This can help you in your further career.

A raise is a considerable reason for joy. A higher salary means more money for current needs, leisure activities, and other expenses.

If salary negotiations are successful, you will feel satisfied. Moreover, you will be more content at work, which will undoubtedly translate into better performance. It’s a win-win situation where both you and your current or future employer benefit—you are happier, and the employer can count on your greater commitment to professional duties.

Whether you want to talk about a raise with your boss in your current job or you are applying for a completely new position in another company, you need to prepare properly for the salary discussion.

solary negotiation

Salary Negotiation Step by Step – First, Research the Market

Before you start negotiating, conduct thorough market research. Find out how much others in your position, with similar experience, are earning. Remember that salaries can vary depending on the region.

You can find information on dedicated websites (e.g., and social media (in relevant groups). Additionally, it’s worthwhile to do some research among friends, especially recruiters and industry peers.

Prepare a List of Your Strengths

You need to justify your request properly, using substantive business arguments. It’s better not to cite rising living costs, but rather your specific achievements or skills that can be valuable to the company.

Before you start negotiating, prepare a list of your key skills, completed courses and obtained certifications, successes in your current job—such as winning an industry award, setting a sales record, being named employee of the month, etc. The effectiveness of your actions will be a key argument!

Choose the Right Moment

If you are applying for a new job, remember not to bring up the salary issue right after starting the recruitment meeting. Listen to what the recruiter has to say, answer the questions asked. Leave the salary issue for the end.

Effective Negotiation Techniques, i.e., How to Talk About Money to Succeed

During salary negotiations, you can use one of the proven techniques. Among them are:

  • The first impression effect technique – based on the assumption that the success or failure of the conversation is decided in the first minutes of the meeting, the first words, etc., so it is worth focusing on them.
  • The self-presentation technique – involves highlighting the employee’s advantages, however, without arrogance and excessive self-confidence.

What to Remember?

Instead of specific amounts, use a range that is 15-20% higher than your current or the recruiter’s proposed salary. Remember, however, not to set the range too wide. Openly value your work.

Remember about credibility. Confirm your demands with concrete arguments – present results or achieved successes.

Make sure you also clarify whether you are discussing net or gross earnings.


Negotiate Not Just the Salary

Remember that salary is just one of many issues you can discuss with your employer. You can also negotiate for private health insurance for yourself and your family, a Multisport card, additional leave, a different type of contract, a training budget, subsidies for transportation to work, or a cafeteria system.

Skillful and, most importantly, effective salary negotiation is an art! It requires knowledge of negotiation techniques, understanding of the specific industry and its prevailing rates, as well as defining your own expectations. It’s worth approaching the matter in a substantive and fully professional manner. Speak directly, avoid criticizing, and be amicable! This increases your chances of negotiation success.

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