How to Ask Above Your Salary Range

Recently I had the opportunity to sit down with David Newkirk, CEO of Ethos Consulting and former Fidelity Executive to talk about negotiating and owning your worth.

David is a seasoned business strategist who has been on three sides of the negotiation table – as an employee, an executive, and now an entrepreneur running his own business, consulting with organizations.

Have you ever wondered what you should do if you get a job offer for more money than you asked for?

Watch this video and get answers to that question.

David has a family member, let’s call him Simon, a young 20-something, who just got a job offer at a company that his friend also works for. David called me in to get my perspective.

Simon gave the company a $15,000 salary requirement range ahead of time and received an offer $3,000 above the top end of the range.

David’s question to me: “Should Simon still try to negotiate or what kind of box did he put himself in knowing that they exceeded what his salary range was and should he do something in terms of a response?

My answer: Yes, absolutely. Always negotiate. Whether Simon did his research or not or if he understood what the friend in the company was earning, there still might be more money on the table, and perhaps he did undersell himself in the beginning.

If you’re a woman it’s even more imperative you negotiate your first job offer because the gender pay gap begins right out of college.

When companies ask you to share your salary expectations early on in the process, it’s not always fair or the best. From a candidate perspective, you don’t know exactly the role you might end up in when you get the offer, and you’re not quite sure how your experience fits into the role or if you fit in the top end or low end of the range.

The fact that he got an offer above what he asked for it means that he might have met at the lower end. Yes, they might have been making a good faith effort to prevent him from negotiating at all, but it’s always worth asking.

How can Simon ask above his salary range now? You can always go back to the company and say, “I think I may not have done my market research appropriately. I’ve had the chance to go back and take a look at the market. I do want to join this company, and I would be willing to say yes if you are able to bump me up another $5,000 from your offer.”

What else did David wish he knew about negotiating when he was starting out in his career? Stay tuned for more insights on actionable takeaways to real life negotiation scenarios.