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Five Steps to Help You Confidently Negotiate Your Next Job Offer

Negotiating a job offer can be daunting, but it's a critical skill in your job search, promotion, or request for more. According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (2020) women earn 82 cents for every dollar a man earns. In order to close that gap, women must learn how to negotiate confidently and effectively.

As a career coach, I see it all the time. Many professionals, especially women, face imposter syndrome, insecurities, even guilt when it comes to negotiating what they want. With the right strategies, you can boost your confidence to negotiate and secure the compensation you deserve. Here are five steps to help you negotiate your next job offer.

5 foolproof steps for negotiating a job offer

1. Know What You Want

Before you even step into an interview, it's important to identify exactly what you want. While salary is a significant factor in accepting a job, remember that negotiation extends beyond just your pay check. Consider these additional aspects you can negotiate:

  • Title

  • Location (remote vs. in-person vs. hybrid)

  • Benefits

  • Paid time off

  • Flexibility/hours (hello four-day work week!)

  • Stock options & buy-ins

  • Expense account (for lunches, coffee, research, etc.)

  • Professional development stipend

  • Any additional perks that enhance job efficiency or satisfaction.

2. Do Your Homework

Preparation is key. Extensive research equips you with the information you need during negotiations. Feeling prepared will also help boost your confidence. Collect information from various sources to get a comprehensive view of your market worth. This includes:

  • Utilizing your network, trusted colleagues, and mentors to discuss salaries.

  • Exploring job boards to find salary ranges for similar positions.

  • Using online platforms like,, and to collect salary information.

Make sure you consider these factors when researching salary, perks, and benefits.:

  • Organization size

  • Location

  • Responsibilities

  • Experience, skills, talents, and strengths

  • Education, trainings, professional development, and other credentials

3. Determine Your Salary Range

Based on your research, define your salary range. Make sure you know:

  • Lowest Acceptable Offer: The minimum you are willing to accept.

  • Most Likely Offer: What you anticipate receiving.

  • Happy Number: The salary you’d be ecstatic to accept.

This is a good time to look at the benefits being offered and consider any additional benefits/perks you may want to ask for in case the organization can not meet your salary request.

4. Practice Your Ask

Practice makes better. Negotiating is a skill, so in order to get better at it, rehearse your negotiation pitch by stating your desired salary out loud. As you are doing this don't forget to breathe through it! The fear and anxiety of negotiating can cause you to hold your breath, which doesn’t allow oxygen to flow to your brain or gut (which is vital in making important decisions). Visualize the conversation and practice remaining calm and patient while waiting for a response.

5. Negotiate!

Employers expect you to negotiate 99% of the time. If the initial offer is within your range but below your happy number, get ready to negotiate! Show gratitude for the offer and express your enthusiasm about the opportunity and then ask for more. No need to justify your request just yet. Make the request and simply wait to hear the response. If you’re lucky, you’ll be met with a ‘yes!’

Once you’ve agreed on a number, conclude the negotiation professionally by thanking the hiring manager for their time. Confirm the next steps and the timeline for receiving the offer in writing. If you need more time to decide, communicate that clearly and be specific about when you will get back to them with your answer.

Your success is in your hands, so seize it! And remember: negotiations are most likely expected. Remind yourself that it's your opportunity to secure a compensation package that aligns with your value and worth. And celebrate your negotiation win and feeling good knowing you didn’t leave money on the table.

Kathy is offering a special discount for a negotiation session for hertelier readers through the end of November. The sessions are $150, which is $100 dollars off. Click here to take advantage of this kind offer from Kathy!

career coach kathy hubler ladies against the grain
Kathy Hubler, Ladies Against the Grain

Kathy Hubler is a Career and Development Coach at Ladies Against the Grain, where she specializes in helping women in the food, service, and hospitality industries to find freedom, energy, and a zest for life through a career they love! Kathy is a Certified Life Coach (CLC), prior to that she worked in some of the world’s best restaurants in New York City after getting her associate’s degree from The Culinary Institute of America and a bachelor’s degree from Indiana University, specializing in the yummiest scholarly topic ever, “The Science and Culture of Foods of Italy.”


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