How to negotiate the best salary in tough times

Virtual interview, Remote interview, Zoom callNegotiating the top salary can be tough at the best of times. So when the nation is facing economic uncertainty, negotiating your salary can feel even more challenging.

But just because the economy has taken a dip, it doesn’t mean you should have to take a pay cut as well. Especially if you’re a highly trained and skilled professional.

The good news is, whether you’re taking on a new job or asking your current employer for a pay rise, there are several things you can do to help you bag the best salary – no matter the state of the economic climate.

Be prepared

Before meeting with your (potential) employer, you need to make sure you’re ready. This means  preparing any facts or figures that could help your case, as well as knowing exactly what you want to ask for.

You could practice your pitch to a friend or family member beforehand if you’re nervous.

Just remember, in tough times it might be harder to persuade the employer to increase your salary, so you need to be prepared for negotiations and compromise.

Know your worth

Another thing you need to know before you meet to negotiate your salary is your worth. You might have an idea of what salary you deserve but it pays to do some research into salaries for similar positions to yours.

Become familiar with high, average and low salaries for someone in your position, and what benefits are being offered in your industry. That way you are better equipped to show your worth.

Demonstrate your value

One of the most important aspects of negotiating your salary is demonstrating your value and this is even more important during tough economic times.

You must talk about how you can contribute to the company’s bottom line and why this makes you worth a higher salary.

The best way to show your value is to prepare real examples of how you’ve contributed in past roles or in your current position if you’re asking for a pay rise. If you can quantify your results with exact figures, this is even better!

It’s important to come up with a few top examples at the preparation stage and make sure you have these fixed in your brain before the meeting.

Don’t be shy

Though negotiating a salary can be nerve-wracking or uncomfortable, it is a necessary part of business and career progression. It is not time to be shy.

You need to persuade the employer that you’re worth top money, so you need to sell yourself and your skillset.

Don’t be afraid to shout about why you’re great (without being too arrogant of course) as this could be what seals the deal.

Don’t be confrontational

Finally, remember that the business might be going through a tough time financially, so you still need to be empathetic towards this. The discussion should be conversational, not confrontational.

Coming on too strong or aggressive won’t help your case and it might even make the employer resent you.

But by taking on board our advice above, you can better prepare yourself to negotiate and secure the salary you deserve, even during tough economic times.

andrew-fennell-headshotAbout the author

Andrew Fennell is the founder and director of Job Description Library, and StandOut CV, : two leading careers advice websites with a mission to help job hunters land the jobs they want. With plenty of free resources such as their CV writing guide and templates, they have everything you need to craft an interview winning CV.


If you are a job seeker or someone looking to boost their career, then WeAreTheCity has thousands of free career-related articles. From interview tips, CV advice to training and working from home, you can find all our career advice articles here

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