How to Get the Salary You Want [INFOGRAPHIC]

The trouble with negotiating salary is that the employers do it all the time and are therefore very skilled at it. Us normal folks typically only negotiate when we change jobs which means we need a bit of guidance. Fortunately, our friend Kate White has put together this useful infographic about how you can get the salary you want.

Some takeaways:

  • Play detective: Go to salary benchmarking sites (how about!), ask around, and get a true sense of what the job might pay. 
  • Ever heard of ZOPA? It stands for zone of possible agreement, basically where you can meet in the middle - try to locate this sweet spot and everyone will be happy. 
  • Hold back with your salary requirements if possible, it's better if the employer shows their cards first - this is a classic sales trick which works here as well. 
  • Finally, don't stop with the money - there are always extras such as a signing bonus, car, moving expenses, gym membership etc that can be thrown in the pot. 



Get the salary you want: 9 failproof tricks

Women tend to shy away from salary negotiation, which leads to overall lower salaries and a dramatic loss in potential earnings. With a little preparation and the right techniques, you'll be armed to get the best possible offer. By KATE WHITE

  1. Play Detective: Go to sites like, ask around, and get a true sense of what the job might pay.
  2. Determine the ZOPA: ZOPA is the zone of possible agreement: where the range of salary they might offer intersects with the range that will make you happy. E.g. Lucy's ZOPA (25 years old, NYC, PR Assistant): Happy Salary Range: $55-65K; Market Salary Range: $50-60K; ZOPA: $55-60K
  3. Don't Name a Number: "Silence is the ultimate weapon of power" - Charles de Gaulle. Wait for them to first bring up the salary.
  4. When they offer you the job and announce the salary: Graciously tell them how pleased you are to have the offer and how much you'd like to work there.
  5. BUT then add: "But I was really hoping for X" (x is the highest mark in the ZOPA). Hint: If their offer is at the top of the ZOPA, still ask for more. Now is the time to negotiate! If you don't negotiate now, the gap will get bigger over time.
  6. Now shut up... and wait
  7. When they counteroffer with y, assess the mood. If you think there's room to negotiate further, say "I appreciate your flexibility. Could we meet in the middle at z?"
  8. Don't stop! This is a time to nail down the extras: signing bonus, car, moving expenses, cell phone, gym membership, flexible schedule... Hint: collaboration is a good strategy while negotiating!
  9. If the first offer is firm: Ask if there is anythiing else they can do. Additional Benefits: more vacation time? A better title? A bonus plan?
Kat White is the former editor in chief of Cosmopolitan, is the New York Times bestselling author of I Shouldn't Be Telling You Thi: Success Secrets Every Gutsy Girl Should Know.


Emolument provides bonus and salary statistics based on data submitted directly by professionals like you. It is free, anonymous, and already a trusted tool for thousands of professionals worldwide. Are you paid enough? Click here to find out now.

Are you an employer?

Hire and retain the best talent with accurate and reliable data

Benchmark Your Teams


Know what you're worth

Compare your compensation with peers in your industry


Back to Top