Understanding the Game: Salary Negotiation

Updated: Jul 30

“Understanding the Game” is the first installment of a two-part series on mastering the art of salary negotiation. See the second installment, "Winning the Game: 12 Tips in Salary Negotiation", here.

Salary and benefits negotiations are a crucial and necessary part of the employment process. These types of negotiations have a bad reputation for being stressful and demanding and as such, many people never learn what a powerful a tool they can be or how important they are to career satisfaction. Negotiating salary and benefits is the prospective employee’s opportunity to champion their own value and because the process can sometimes be challenging to master, we’ve brought together some insights, strategies, and tips to help raise your confidence and put you in control to maximize your career potential and earnings.

Know your value:

Start by identifying your skills, accomplishments, and past job performance which can help you to demonstrate the worth you bring to the company. Although these are useful talking points, it’s easy to forget how impressive or desirable your qualifications are. Based on your position and abilities, research comparable compensation rates, adjusting for company size and location.

Once you have a solid idea of your value, stick to it!

According to, “not discussing your salary and benefits can negatively affect your lifelong earning potential. For example, if the average U.S. annual salary increase is 3% and you accept a starting salary that is 10% below your expectations, it could take over two years just to regain those earnings.” [1] After completing your research, organize the information into a one-page synopsis or “brag sheet” to help you remember and celebrate your valu