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As you’re doing your research, you’ll likely come up with a range that represents your market value. It can be tempting to ask for something in the middle of the range, but instead you should ask for something toward the top.
The anchor—or the first number put on the table—is the most important in negotiation, since it’s what the rest of the conversation is based off of. If it’s too low, you’ll end up with a lower final offer than you probably want.
You should always be the first person to mention a number so that you, not your counterpart, controls the anchor.
Negotiation may be scary, but you should always keep the conversation on a positive note: "I really enjoy working here and find my projects very challenging. In the last year, I’ve been feeling that the scope of my work has expanded quite a bit. I believe my roles and responsibilities.."
If your boss (or the hiring manager) really, really won’t budge? Try negotiating for flex time, more vacation time, a better title, or plum projects and assignments.
When considering your numbers, you should also come up with a “walk away point”—a final offer that’s so low that you have to turn it down. This could be based on financial need, market value, or simply what you need to feel good about the salary you’re bringing home.
Walking away from an offer will never be easy, but it’s important to know when to do it—and powerful to be able to say “no.”
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