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Do you want to make more money? Of course you do! Doesn’t everybody? The real question is how you can make it happen.

It all starts with that initial salary offer. If you don’t negotiate at the beginning, you will already be at a disadvantage since pay raises are often a percentage of your current salary. So, here are four salary negotiating tips from Forbes to follow before you sign that offer letter:

1. Ask

Sounds simple, doesn’t it? Yet many people don’t even bother to negotiate at all. Sure, the economy has been bad and you don’t want to seem ungrateful, but you need to be true to your value. When you ask, do it politely and professionally, while indicating your enthusiasm to work for your future employer.

2. Know what the position is worth

You may think you deserve 10 percent more than you made at your last job — but do you really? Researching salaries is so much easier these days. Check out Glassdoor.com or Payscale.com. Even better? Ask friends and trusted colleagues in similar positions what they make. Keeping salary information a secret is a silly taboo.

3. Consider non-salary benefits

It’s possible your future employer really can’t pay you more than the offer. But that doesn’t mean you can negotiate other perks, like working from home one day a week, extra vacation time, or a better title. Any of that could translate to other jobs or positions down the road.

4. Practice!

If you get flustered while negotiating, you are far from alone. So, practice with a friend in person, or ask a confidante to read over your negotiation emails. Remember, you want to come across as excited to work for the employer and confident in your value as an employee. So, work on your body language (smile!) and writing tone (not too cold) with people you trust.


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