How to Negotiate for the Salary You Want & Deserve

by Brandi Britton

iaap-negotiations

Has your paycheck not seen an increase for years? Or perhaps you’ve just received a job offer that leaves much compensation to be desired. Either way, asking for more money can be a frightening proposition. But don’t let nerves stop you from speaking up and trying to get the salary you want and deserve. You likely won’t get it unless you say something.

Here are four tips for negotiating your administrative salary:

1.) Get the facts and figures.

You know you deserve more, but how much more? What’s the going rate for your job title? Before you negotiate salary, do your research. Consult a reliable resource, like the OfficeTeam 2019 Salary Guide, which has the latest pay ranges for numerous administrative positions in the United States and Canada. And use the Salary Calculator to easily customize the results for your location.

The OfficeTeam Salary Guide will also show you what specific skills, certifications, and educational backgrounds managers value most. Having this information can give you an edge in salary negotiations if you know you bring something to the table that many employers are willing to pay a premium for.

2.) Make your case. 

To merit a higher salary, you’ll have to articulate the reasons you deserve it. Bring supporting evidence of your accomplishments and qualifications to the negotiation table. Highlight some of your in-demand skills—examples include bilingualism, customer service savvy and technical strengths—and give recent examples of how you’ve put those abilities to use to save money or optimize workflows for the company or a past employer. Bring up any certifications or postsecondary degrees you have or are working toward—and how they’ll benefit your department. Salary negotiation is a two-way street, and the manager sitting across from you will want to know what they’ll get if they give you more money.

3.) Put perks on the table.

Not every employer will be able to budge on salary. In that case, there are other ways to boost your compensation package. Perhaps ask for an extra week of paid time off or negotiate a more flexible schedule, such as earlier start and end times, telecommuting twice a week or working four 10-hour days. You could also see if the company is willing to pay for your next professional development opportunity or continuing education. Sometimes additional perks can be just as valuable as a higher salary.

4.) Keep it short and sweet.

Regardless of whether this is a current or new position, don’t drag out negotiations if it’s clear the manager won’t or can’t bump up your salary or perks. Likewise, avoid playing hardball unless you’re ready and willing to walk away from the job. Directness, tempered by emotional intelligence, can earn an employer’s respect no matter the outcome, while bluffing about other offers or threatening to quitcould result in burned bridges.

Preparation and professionalism are key to successful salary negotiations. Do your research, demonstrate your value and have some alternatives in your back pocket. This is a great way to help boost your current salary and future earning potential.


IAAP works with the best trainers in the industry to ensure you have relevant, engaging, practical content at your fingertips. This blog is written by a speaker with a program in the IAAP Approved Programs database. Search by name or keyword to find their contact information and book them for your Branch or Region event. 

If you’d like to attend one of these events, you can find one in your area here.


Brandi Britton is a district president for OfficeTeam, the nation’s leading staffing service specializing in the temporary placement of highly skilled administrative and office support professionals. OfficeTeam has 300 locations worldwide and offers online job search services at roberthalf.com/officeteam. Connect with us on Facebook,LinkedIn,Twitterand our blog.

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