Salary Negotiation Tips: Research Is Key to Success

To be in a position of strength, do your homework and know your market value.


Q: Yesterday my boss and I had a sit down about taking on another role. To make a long story short, currently my day-to-day tasks involve being a project manager — I manage all capital improvement jobs. Prior to being a project manager with the company, I managed a number of their buildings through another management company.

Now he wants me to go back to managing those same buildings, while still being a project manager, all for an extra $3k. I said no, but should I even be interested in what this cheapskate has to say?

A: You should definitely be interested in what this cheapskate has to say. You have not agreed to this compensation. It’s simply a proposal from your boss thinking that $3,000 is indeed fair compensation for managing these buildings through a management firm. You obviously disagree. That should be the starting point for conversation, not the ending point.

Get out and do your homework. Go to chapter five in my book and do the research to find out what someone out in the job market gets paid to do the kind of work you’re interested in doing. Armed with that information, you can go back to your boss and explain to him that the market rate to get someone to do all the things he wants this position to do is a lot higher than he thought. Would he be open to a conversation where you can restructure your job responsibilities in a way that he feels happy and you feel well-compensated?