Negotiate Your Way To Getting Paid What You’re Worth

Negotiate Your Way To Getting Paid What You’re Worth

One of the trickiest parts of landing a new job is making sure you get paid what you’re worth. Negotiating your salary is part art and part science, but there’s one rule that never changes: be nice.

Photo by Orin Zebest.

Wired’s How-To Wiki has a great collection of tips on figuring out what a job ought to pay and how much you can expect to earn based on your level of experience and education. Once you’ve got a ballpark estimate, you’ll need to get your prospective employer on board, and that’s where good negotiation tactics come in handy.

We’ve mentioned ways to hone your negotiating skills before, but one tip in particular is important to remember. It pays — literally — to be nice when you’re trying to find a middle ground between what you want to earn and what the company is willing to pay.

Salary negotiation may make you feel as ruthless as Gordon Gekko, but the basic rules of human decency still apply. After all, you will have to work with these people. Don’t hold out for the maximum offer. Don’t hint that you need the dough to pay off your gambling debts or your mother’s life-saving operation. Don’t complain that your best friend from high school is making twice as much… in an entirely different field. And don’t — we repeat, DON’T — bring the subject up in an interview. Wait until the interviewer brings it up, even if that means waiting for a second interview — which is what you were going to do in the first place, remember?

Hit up the post for more tips on getting paid what you’re worth. Did you negotiate your salary before you took your current job? How’d it work out for you? If you’ve got tips to share, we’d love to hear about them in the comments.

Get Paid What You’re Worth [Wired How-To Wiki]


  • wonderful article. thank you.

    i’ve been fortunate to mostly work for companies who paid me a fair market rate. begs the question – what does it mean, “what i’m worth”?

    professional athletes in america make obscene amounts of money. is that because they’re ‘worth’ more than, say, teachers? or bus drivers? auto mechanics? social workers?

    i’m currently looking for work. sure i’d love to make what i was making before i went back to school. it was outstanding money. even if my colleagues make 20% more than i do, it’s way more than enough to live comfortably. is it worth arguing? i dunno.

    if my buddy keeps his job rather than being laid off, maybe it’s not.

  • Luckily the public service in Aus doesnt have employees negotiate their rate of pay until theyre around the executive level. Its unfair that so many places have negotiable rates when the company understands the etiquette and protocol and a new employee often doesnt.

  • The difference between pro athletes negotiating their salary and most of the rest of us is leverage. Let’s face it. When it comes to the big money there are just not that many to choose from.
    And they all know what the market value is and they and agents.

Show more comments

Log in to comment on this story!