top of page

Self-Help Strategies for Negotiation

The most important thing you can to do to increase your pay is to ASK for more when you are offered a job or a promotion. Often the simple step of asking for more will result in a higher offer.


Although specifics will vary based on the stage of your career and your field of work, there are general steps that are helpful for everyone. To learn these steps you can:

Read blog posts about my strategies

Part 1Part 2

Or, read these QUICK TIPS on strategies for negotiation!


TIMING is crucial; the right time to negotiate is when the employer has offered you the job. So try to deflect, if asked, for your salary requirements during the hiring process.


ANCHORING is the concept that once a number is articulated, it is hard to forget it.  So it is best if the employer first says what the salary range is for the job. That way, you don’t start too low.


PLAN for negotiation. It will help you feel confident and calm.

  1. Strategize about the whole package, including title, flexible hours, telecommuting, the resources you need to succeed (e.g., staff, budget, space, etc.). You might be able to trade off if you ask for more than just salary.

  2. Research comparable salaries by using (or or industry-specific sites. An objective standard aids negotiation. Use comparable positions to establish your “ask,” your target goal, and your bottom-line.

  3. Identify the employer’s interests and think about how best to address them.

Example #1: if you ask for telecommuting and the employer is reluctant, suggest a trial period or alternatively, a waiting period, to establish that you are effective.

Example #2: if the employer is hesitant about a higher salary due to budget concerns, suggest a signing bonus so that it is not part of your base salary.



  1. Negotiate in person or by telephone/Skype. More than 70% of communication is nonverbal, so a written “ask” loses nuance and seems more demanding.     

  2. It helps to write out your opening line. Say “a mentor encouraged you to negotiate.” (You can consider me your “virtual” mentor.)

  3. Frame your “ask” as a question: “Would you consider a salary of …?”

  4. Smile a lot and remember that the employer wants YOU or they would not have offered you the job!


For more information:

  • AAUW, American Association of University Women,

  • Babcock & Laschever, Ask For It: How Women Can Use the Power of Negotiation to Get What They Really Want (2009)

  • Bacock & Laschever, Women Don't Ask: The High Cost of Avoiding Negotiation--and Positive Strategies for Change (2007)

  • Roger Fisher, William Ury, & Bruce Patton, Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In (1991)

bottom of page