Yulia Grigoryeva/ShutterstockThere’s some good news and some bad news. The bad news? You probably aren’t making as much money as you should be. The good news? One simple solution could help you pocket an extra $5,000 every single year.
As it turns out, all you have to do is ask. More than half of employers say they low-ball salary when offering a job because they want room for the employee to negotiate the pay, according to a recent CareerBuilder survey of 2,369 full-time employers and 3,462 full-time workers. (If you’re just starting the job hunt, learn the one thing employers really want to see on a resume.) And the payback from that negotiation is no small change. About 26 percent of those who quoted a low salary said they’d be willing to pay an extra $5,000 or more every year. Nice!
But here’s the problem: New employees are too scared to ask. Only 44 percent of new hires said they negotiate salary when starting a new position—meaning more than half of workers are getting paid less than they could be. (If you aren’t starting a new job, avoid making these 8 big mistakes when asking for a raise.)
A separate GlassDoor survey looked even bleaker picture, finding that 59 percent of employees didn’t negotiate the last time they got hired. Women were the least likely to ask for more money, with a whopping 68 percent accepting the initial offer.
Naturally, asking for more money can be awkward. More than half of the CareerBuilder survey responders who didn’t negotiate said it made them uncomfortable, while 47 percent feared the job offer would be revoked, and 36 percent thought they would look greedy.
How you ask might make a difference, too. Only 10 percent of employees negotiated and successfully upped their salary for their most recent job, reports GlassDoor.
For the best chance of success getting a company to raise your offer, ask for a few days to think before accepting the job, career management consultant Ellis Chase tells Forbes. Then do your research on the company and other people with your position to figure out a realistic number.
When the big talk with the hiring manager does come along, ask a couple easy questions about the job and its perks before bringing up salary. (Here are more questions to ask yourself before accepting a job.) Once you ask, pretend you still need to prove yourself, even though the company has already expressed its interest in hiring you. “When you’re trying to get the base salary up, resell yourself,” Chase tells Forbes. Don’t miss these other 5 simple tips for negotiating salary.
With any luck, just putting the feelers out will give you a couple grand more. If your initial offer really was the salary cap, see if you can get different perks, like more vacation time or flexible hours, suggests Moneyish. (And maybe you can use that time to make money off your vacation photos.) The worst they can do is say no, but that simple question could seriously pay off.