Negotiating a job offer is a notoriously harrowing process, especially if you’ve never done it before and assume the world will explode if you request a dollar more.
But there are some good reasons to do it anyway — not least among them that if you don’t negotiate your starting salary, you could lose out on $1 million over the course of your lifetime.
Plus, you might impress your prospective employer with your initiative.
At least, that’s true if you’re going to work for Libby Leffler. Leffler is the vice president of membership at personal finance company SoFi; she previously worked at Google and Facebook. Leffler told Business Insider, “I am always expecting people that I hire on my team to negotiate their job offer.”
The reason why is simple: It indicates how the candidate will behave after they’ve been hired.
Leffler said, “I know when they’re in their roles for me, they’re going to negotiate whatever it might be. They’re going to work with a partner to get something done; they’re going to work with the sales team to make something happen; they’re going to be able to achieve a compromise with a cross-functional team so that we can move a project forward.”
That said, no one will be impressed by someone who throws out a ludicrously large number.
As Business Insider’s Áine Cain reported, it’s crucial to do your research before negotiating salary. You can use sites such as Glassdoor, PayScale, and Salary.com. to figure out the standard salary for the role you’re interested in.
If this is your first job, you can also try asking people who worked entry-level positions at the company what their starting salary was, Cain reported.
Leffler noted that negotiating your salary doesn’t necessarily mean asking for more cash. “It can be any component of compensation that might be important to you,” she said, such as flexible hours, vacation time, or equity in the company.
Ultimately, a candidate’s willingness to put themselves out there and negotiate any piece of a job offer reveals a lot about their potential work performance.
Leffler said, “I want to find the people that are motivated, that are considering this to be a great career opportunity and really want to find a way to make this work for them. Those people will be the ones who feel most satisfied in their roles.”
This article first appeared on Business Insider.