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How to Negotiate a Salary Offer

Are you skeptical of asking for a salary increase for fear of ruining your chances of being employed? This article contains information on how you can negotiate a salary offer.

How To Negotiate Salary Offer
Find ways you can successfully negotiate a salary offer in this article.

Before you proceed to read this article, take a minute and reflect. Have you ever negotiated a Salary offer? That’s it. You haven’t right? Recently, a friend got an invite for a job interview and while leaving, her mother adviced she ensures to accept any salary she was offered. In her words “You know that you have searched for a job for years to no avail. Just accept anything they offer you. The most important thing is that you have a job and a sure salary. If you reject it, there are lots of people who would rush it.” I wasn’t surprised to hear this because this is the belief system of many job seekers. In a popular Nigerian slang “Atall Atall” (meaning, anything is better than nothing).

It’s not surprising that many job seekers aren’t comfortable asking for more money once it seems that unemployment has ended and they have an offer in front of them. If the salary is reasonable, they don’t want to ruin the opportunity. Hence, they would rather accept the offer without negotiating the salary [2] even when it’s obvious the salary doesn’t match their skills.

On the other hand, there are also the class of individuals who would love to ask for more money considering their skills and qualifications but the hold back is “How will I negotiate this offer without jeopardizing this opportunity?” If you belong to this category, this article is an answered prayer.

10 Tips To Negotiate a Salary Offer

To negotiate a salary offer, below are ways to go about it without scaring the employer away or coming off as greedy or rude:

1. Know Your Value

The first important step before you go for a job interview is to know your worth. Nobody knows you more than you know yourself. You alone know the value you can offer an employer. This starts by evaluating your Qualifications, Skills, Experience, Certification, etc. When you have taken time to invest so much in yourself, you won’t be seen accepting just any salary being offered to you because you would have spent a lot of money and time in personal development, with the goal to earn more.

Knowing your value gives you the confidence to negotiate. Throughout the interview process, you can subtly emphasize your skills, accomplishments, and relevant experience that make you a valuable asset to the company. Demonstrating your expertise increases your bargaining power during salary discussions. So, do this first before going for your next interview to negotiate salary offer.

2. Research Your Industry

Be familiar with data and figures. Don’t overthink it. This is not Mathematics. You need to enter a salary negotiation as informed as possible. Information is power in this situation.

Before entering into salary negotiations, gather information about industry standards for the position you are applying for, considering factors like location, company size, your qualification and level of experience. Carry out in-depth research into salaries for positions comparable to yours before you attend an interview.

These details are necessary. It helps you to know the salary range to quote, without underrating or overrating yourself.

Imagine an individual with SSCE, no skill, no professional certification, coming to negotiate a salary of 1 million naira while a degree holder with numerous high value skills demand to be paid Twenty Thousand Naira. In cases like this, you will come of to most employees as a joke. As a higher value individual, don’t miss out on this.

Websites like Glassdoor [3] , Payscale, LinkedIn, Indeed Salaries [2.1] and industry reports can provide valuable insights on this.

3. Wait for the Offer

Don’t be quick to talk about salary [1] when the employer haven’t mentioned it.

Let the employer bring up the topic of salary first. While waiting to have that discussion, express your excitement about the job offer before discussing salary. This helps maintain a positive tone during negotiations.

Now, when asked about your salary expectations, provide a range rather than a specific number. This is why you should arm yourself with information and accurate industry details. This prevents pricing yourself too low.

4. Schedule a time to discuss offer

For cases where salary offer wasn’t discussed during the interview, reach out to the recruiter to set up a time to speak over the phone. While it’s acceptable to negotiate over email, it’s highly encouraged for the conversation to happen over the phone. Speaking over the phone, in a video call or in person allows you to have a back-and-forth conversation, express gratitude and clearly communicate your requirements. Try to be respectful and clear as the recruiter or hiring manager will be the ones advocating for your salary to the decision-makers. This is rare in some cases as salaries are often negotiated in person.

5. Strategic Counteroffer

When you have been made an offer, if the initial offer is lower than what you expected, respond professionally, expressing gratitude for the offer. Politely convey that you were anticipating a slightly higher salary based on your research and your qualifications for the role.

Don’t just counter with a higher number. Even if your research supports it, you will be more successful if you explain why you feel you deserve more. Highlight your strengths, detailing what value you will be offering the company. Leave no stones unturned here.

6. Provide Justification

As stated earlier, it is not enough to request a salary increase without bringing value. Results are what helps you negotiate salary offer confidently. One way to do that is to show proof. Back your counteroffer with data and reasons. Explain how your skills, experience, and achievements align with the responsibilities of the role and contribute to the company’s success. Present a strong case for why you believe you are worth the proposed higher salary.

7. Explore Additional Benefits

Remote work

Certain job offers do not offer only Salary. So, don’t focus solely on the base salary. I once accepted a job offer of 25,000 naira. Ordinarily, the salary wasn’t anything near what I would be offering the company. Friends asked that I reject the job, but guess what? I accepted the offer. Beyond the 25,000, the job was flexible, enabling me to work from home on some days. Moreso, we observed public holidays, birthday packages and above all, working directly under a top executive would help me learn a lot of things. These were the benefits I considered.

Bearing this in mind, if the company isn’t able to accommodate your desired salary, inquire about other benefits. Consider negotiating for benefits like performance bonuses, flexible hours, growth potential, healthcare benefits, etc.

Look at the entire compensation package, rather than focusing solely on the base salary. This will help you make informed decisions.

8. Be Willing to Compromise

Salary negotiation isn’t an easy task. It involves a lot of back-and-forth conversations. Hence, be willing to compromise within a reasonable range.

Be open to adjusting your expectations within a reasonable range. Don’t drop a figure and say “that’s the last I can accept” Come on, you’re not selling pepper here. Money is a sensitive subject, While you should never let a company have full control over your worth, be both knowledgeable and understanding when discussing a salary negotiation.

Even if the employer is unable to provide the salary amount you want, they may be able to offer other forms of compensation as mentioned above.

For instance, you may be able to negotiate work-from-home days to reduce the expenses on commute.

9. Maintain Professionalism and Patience

Throughout the negotiation process, maintain a professional and courteous tone. Remember that this is a business discussion, not a confrontation or mortal combat. Focus on the value you bring and the positive impact you can make on the organization. Avoid making threats or using harsh words during a salary negotiation. It also sends the wrong signal about you.

Be patient and persistent while maintaining your professionalism. The goal is to arrive at a mutually beneficial agreement that acknowledges your value to the company.

Hence, be patient and willing to meet in the middle.

10. Get everything in Writing

Once you have settled on a compensation package, ask for written documentation. Besides the salary amount, it should include any special arrangements, such as allowance for moving expenses, and a job description and a list of responsibilities for your new role. Ensure the document is signed by both you and the employer. Some companies may provide this automatically as part of an employment contract, but if not, request some type of documentation to avoid “stories that touches the heart” according to my country’s people.


Remember that salary negotiation is a skill that takes practice to master. Approach negotiations with confidence, preparedness, and a willingness to engage in a constructive dialogue with your potential employer. It’s not a battle of the Titans. How you present yourself during this process may also make or ruin your chances of getting the job.

When next you get a salary offer, apply these tips with confidence and I’m certain you would get a positive result. When you do, don’t forget to pay homage.

Good luck on your next salary negotiation.


[1] “Salary Negotiation – Do’s and Don’ts.” Jobberman Nigeria, 29 Apr. 2021, https://www.jobberman.com/discover/salary-negotiation-dos-and-donts.

[2] Indeed.com, https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/pay-salary/how-to-negotiate-salary.

[2.1] Indeed.com, https://www.indeed.com/career/salaries.

[3] Glassdoor.com, https://www.glassdoor.com/index.htm.

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