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How to negotiate a salary increase during COVID-19

It can feel challenging to decide whether you should negotiate your salary increase while COVID-19 is still impacting the economy.

Many businesses are retrenching employees which may lead you to believe that offer negotiation isn’t an option in the current market. While COVID-19 has significantly affected companies some did pay salary increases in 2020.

Before you make your move to ask for a salary increase do your research

Prior to your interview, conduct research to get an idea of how COVID-19 has affected your potential employer. You might find indicators on news sites, social media or the company’s website. If you know someone who currently works for the company, then you could also ask if they have any public insights to share.

During the interview, consider asking questions such as:

  • How has COVID-19 affected the company?

  • What challenges has the company faced since the onset of COVID-19?

  • How is the company recovering from the impacts of COVID-19?

Getting answers to questions like these may help you better contextualize your negotiation conversation if you move onto the offer phase.

For example, if you understand the company to be under a significant amount of financial and operational pressure, you might say something such as,

“While I certainly understand these to be challenging times, I am requesting a 10% increase in pay based on your initial offer. I believe this better represents the value I’d bring to the team based on my skill set, background and experience.”

How to identify the right pay

Before initiating a negotiation conversation, conduct research to gain a strong understanding of your personal professional value which will be unique to your work experience and location.

Factors that can impact your professional value include:

  • Years of industry experience

  • Years of leadership experience

  • Level of education

  • Level of seniority

  • Skills

  • Licenses and certifications

  • Conditions of the local job market

  • Supply and demand for your expertise

Another factor that might impact your professional value, especially now, are qualifications for a role that is considered essential during COVID-19 and requires niche skills.

Sourced from Indeed Career Guide -



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Editor's note

American novelist Louisa May Alcott said it best when she said “Far away there in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty, believe in them, and try to follow where they lead.”

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