Negotiate What You Are Worth


You must negotiate and fight for what you are worth whether you work at a corporation, small company, or are an entrepreneur.

For many people, negotiation is not enjoyable, especially if you are not accustomed to the process. Personally, I dislike the entire negotiation game. I prefer to show my past successes as proof I am worth what I ask. I might charge more for marketing services with my consulting business, Elisha Consulting, than others. However, when it comes to marketing, every campaign or event I have oversaw resulted in a positive ROI.

Sure, there have been failures along the way, but overall, campaigns have been successful and clients have been happy with results. 

What about you? Have you been at your job for a few years with solid results? Maybe you are a student who has always excelled academically and taken on leadership roles. You might think all you need to do is show what you have done and a big payday awaits. 


You will meet many people throughout your career less skilled than you who have negotiated better compensation. The idea of negotiating might not sound appealing, yet it's a reality of life.

Here are a few tips when you negotiate a contract, new position, or even with family.

Remove the Emotion

Don't let a deal become personal. Maybe you were offered a job after being unemployed for 3-months but the salary is much less than you expected. Don't just take the first offer in a moment of emotion. Be strong. I know this is difficult. Recently, my marketing business was in a slow season and a past client requested some work. I was excited to have a project, yet the numbers did not match my requirements. It would have been easy to just let it slide and take the job, but I would have undercut my value for future projects. 

Bring Data

Have you done research to identify your worth? There are many sources available, including Glassdoor and others, where you can find a competitive salary. Also, do you have a portfolio? They aren't just for "creatives." I have one for my marketing business with websites, campaigns, and other designs, yet you can do the same with any job. Document your achievements leading teams, increasing revenue, decreasing costs, implementing new procedures, or anything else which brought value to past positions. Your portfolio is an extension of your resume to prove your worth. 

Don't Focus on Money

One of the main issues people get stuck on is the idea of money being the central issue. It isn't, your time is more valuable. Think of it this way. What if you were offered a position which paid less than what you expected and there was no way the company would offer you more. Well, could you work from home on Fridays? Or what about a 37.5-hour work week? I know someone who received both. Her salary isn't great, yet she has free time which is valuable. As a marketing consultant, I will take 80% of my hourly rate if a client signs a guaranteed 6-month retainer. Why? Because they just saved me dozens of hours looking for work and provided financial certainty. The point is, don't solely focus on money, there are many perks which can cover for a lack of compensation. 

Summing up the above:

  • Don't get emotional and stay strong.
  • Prove your value with data. 
  • Money isn't everything, negotiate on your terms.

I admit I am not the greatest negotiator, far from it, the above advice is as much for me as it is for you. If you would like to learn more, I recommend Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It by Criss Voss. It is the best book on negotiating I have ever read. 

Until next time, go get what you're worth!

Matt Avery