Negotiating Your Salary: Tips from Talent Consultant Claire Telling 

Do you dread negotiating your salary? You’re not alone–60 percent of U.S. workers did not ask for higher pay the last time they were hired, according to a Pew Research Center survey in 2023. But women, in particular, were even less likely to ask than men. 

Talent consultant Claire Telling has seen this again and again, and even in her own career. “I was working with a lot of phenomenal, badass women CEOs who were equally as bad at negotiating their own salaries as I was,” she says. 

After years as an executive recruiter and a chief people officer, Telling gleaned some helpful tips, which she shared with New York Women in Communications in a recent Next Level You session, “Negotiating Your Salary – What to Say and When to Say It.” 

Prepare and Remember: It’s Not Personal 

When you’re getting ready to negotiate your salary, start by removing emotion from the equation. “You are there to make money. The company is paying you for a job,” Telling says. A little trick: pretend you are negotiating for your best friend. That will help make it feel less personal, while still keeping your eyes on the prize. 

Keep some key information in mind, though. What are comparable salaries for your position? In an era of increased salary transparency, this could be easier to find, Teller says. But also, what is the financial state of the company? Would now be a particularly tough time to ask for a raise? And if so, what other benefits might you be able to advocate for? 

Be Grateful, But Firm 

When you get an offer, gratitude goes a long way, even when you want to ask for more. “I ask all of my recruiter friends: ‘What does somebody do that makes you want to bend over backwards for them?’” Telling says. “They will go to the mattresses for anybody who’s grateful, who’s enthusiastic, who genuinely seems like they’re into the job.”

But there are still ways to ask for more with that gracious mindset. For instance, if a company is offering you a position in the $70,000 range and you are looking for something in the $100,000-$120,000 range, you can ask: “What is the difference between a $70,000 candidate and a $100,000 candidate?” 

Make a Business Case

If you’re advocating for a raise within your current company, it’s important to make a business case for yourself. Telling gives an example of one way to start the conversation: “This has been a very strong year for our company, and I know I have played a key role in driving its success.” 

It’s also important to get your timing right. Three months before your review would be ideal, but not when your boss is in a bad mood or the company is in dire straits. “Your salary is tied to your company’s performance,” Telling says. 

But also, she adds, pay attention to how you are feeling, as well. “If you’re not feeling well–emotionally, physically–just put it off a day.” 

Written by NYWICI Volunteer


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