Your lucrative new plan for negotiating a better salary during job offers

career progression interviews salary Feb 11, 2024
Lata in black top smiling; text: negotiating a better salary during job offers

Every single instance wherever I've changed companies or changed careers, I've always gotten a pay rise. Every single time. You absolutely can get a pay rise, and there’s no better time than when you’re changing companies or careers and in the process of negotiating the salary or day rate of your job offer. Let me step you through your lucrative new plan for negotiating a better salary during job offers with hiring managers and recruiters.


#1 Know your minimum number

It’s hard to negotiate if you don’t know what you want. Set a minimum number for yourself, and an ideal number. Write them down on paper, bring them into reality. Anything above your minimum is acceptable, so pitch above your ideal to have room to come back down to the ideal number, or worst case - the minimum number.


#2 Dodge the salary expectations question

Always let them make the first offer. Never ever give your salary expectation. There's polite ways of declining and deflecting the question, such as by asking your own question back like:

  • What is the normal pay for someone in this position? 
  • What is the salary band range for this role?
  • What is the budget for this contract?
  • I’d like to learn more about the role before providing my salary expectations and I’d hope this role offer is in line with similar market rates.

They're in the driver's seat. They're often just trying to lowball you. They want your salary expectation because you'll often undersell yourself, especially if you’re female. We women are notorious for underselling ourselves! And sometimes it can work against you. Women are often worried about saying a figure that’s too high. But if you say an amount that's too low and really undercut yourself, they might question whether or not you're actually right for the role or at the level they think you are. Always try and get them to make the first offer, make the first move, give the range first. And for me when I've been given an offer, it's usually been better than what I've thought I’d get. For one Change contract, the range was $700-$900 a day and I expected to be at the bottom at $700 but the offer was $800. I took it! Sometimes you'll be pleasantly surprised, especially if you've done really well in the interview process.


#3 Negotiate on the range

If it is a Permanent role, there's probably a salary band with a high and low range. Ask them the range and negotiate on the band with, “Great, I understand that there's a range. Where would I be placed on the range given x, y, z? Could I be placed higher on the range?”


#4 Understand the inclusions

If the rate is not great for you, double check the inclusions. For example, does it include superannuation (or your country’s equivalent retirement fund) or exclude it? Does it include annual and sick leave and personal time off, or exclude them?  My Intro to Change Management webinar includes a salary equivalent matrix so you can roughly calculate these types of inclusions for your day rate contract, compare apples with apples, and see the real overall value of the offer. Does it include benefits, or exclude them? This could be extra superannuation, free health insurance, novated leasing, additional leave days, external training budget, etc. Just be sure the benefits are things you already pay for or would want to use, otherwise it’s an empty benefit. Once I took a lower-paid fixed-term contract that included a fitness card that got me into gyms and swimming pools, and saved me real hard costs of gym membership and pool entry fees so I took that into account.


#5 Negotiate on title

If there’s no room to budge on the salary or day rate, find out if you can get a title promotion, even if just on your employment contract. Most people don’t realise that what your employment contract says, what your internal profile on the Global Address List (GAL) or Human Resources Information System (HRIS) says, and what you have on the bottom of your email signature aren’t always the same thing. If you’re referred to as a “Change Manager” to your project, but your employment contract says Senior Change Manager and you’re doing the work of an SCM, you can add Senior Change Manager to your CV and LinkedIn profile. This means when you go for your next role or contract, you can pitch yourself at a higher rate and potentially even the next level up (again, my Intro to Change Management webinar steps through the different levels in Change Management). It’s playing the long game, and taking a lower pay for a higher return later… as long as you get the title promotion of course!


#6 Negotiate flexibility

Another way to get real value from your job offer negotiations is to negotiate part-time hours for full-time pay. This is so important - you don’t want to work part-time (i.e. 4 days a week) and get a pro-rata salary (i.e. 80% of the offered salary). You’ll likely do 5 days or more worth of work, but be paid for only 4. If you can accept the lower job offer but reduce the number of days you work to a 4-day week or 9-day fortnight, that can be just as lucrative. For example, once when I was moving from Day Rate to Fixed Term contract, the new salary offer was way below what I was already earning. But I knew that I could “accrue” additional minutes worked daily to reach the minimum hours for the week. So I worked an extra hour or so for 4 days of the week, giving me a “paid” day off each week that I used to work in my coaching business (I notified my employer of secondary employment). Alternatively, look into Day Rate contracting, because if you need to work your usual day off for a workshop, training, launch or other critical project event, you simply charge for the extra day or extra hours and get paid for anything extra that you work. You can say in the negotiations, “I want to work three to four days a week, but I'm happy to scale up or flex up to five when the project needs me.”


#7 Just ask

Lastly, remember you can just ask for more. If the offer is underwhelming, you can just say, “I was expecting something a little bit higher given my skills, experience, expertise and credentials. Is there any room to move on that?” Ask them what would be necessary to move on that, and if they still say no, it’s a great time to ask for something else of value (like a title promotion or flexibility) or simply decline the role. 



Whatever you accept is the new standard you set - so building your self-worth and confidence is the most important part of your career and that’s why my Leading Successful Change program focuses so heavily on it. We cover scenarios and case studies like negotiating a better salary during job offers in our Monthly Coaching Calls so you have not only the practical tools and action plans but also the empowerment and belief to go after what you want and deserve. You get my "Intro to Change Management" webinar as a bonus when you join the program.


Aaand... there’s a special February offer on for those who join Leading Successful Change before 8.00pm AEDT (Sydney time) tonight. You'll also get a bonus 1:1 Career Strategy Session with me, valued at $997. 


CLICK HERE to join LSC and get the bonus 1:1 Career Strategy Session



All my belief, 

Lata xx

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