How to Prepare to Negotiate Your Salary

Being an in-demand provider doesn’t mean you’ll automatically be paid well. Here are a few tips to prepare you for when it’s time to negotiate your salary.

Being an in-demand healthcare provider—a physician, nurse practitioner, physician assistant, registered nurse, physical therapist, occupational therapist, or myriad other titles—does not mean you will automatically be a well-paid one, as well. However, being in-demand does often mean that you are in a unique position in terms of bargaining power, and can negotiate for what you want and so rightly deserve. Here are a few tips to follow to be prepared when the time comes to negotiate.

1. Know Your Worth

When it comes to negotiating your salary, it is absolutely critical that you know your worth, both personally, based on your experience and specialized skill set, and in terms of your market value.

Use your current and former salaries, salary reports that are available online, or even buck the taboo and talk to your peers about what they are earning, and create a salary range for yourself. The low end should be the absolute minimum you would seriously consider and the high end should represent what you would accept without any further negotiations needed.

By basing your salary range on comparable salaries, instead of plucking numbers out of thin air, there is a greater chance that any counter offer you may need to make be seriously considered. Know that if you are preparing, they are, as well, and it’s more than likely the hiring company has also done their research and has a range of their own to consider, too.

2. Consider the Benefits

Money isn’t the only thing on the table when it comes to negotiating, and there are plenty of benefits that can provide quite a bit of value, while not moving the needle on your salary.

If the proposed salary is on the low end and the hiring company won’t budge, try negotiating for better benefits. Some benefits to attempt to fold into negotiations can include: signing bonus, education/CME allowance, flexible work schedule, PTO, insurance, retirement plans, and more.

Not everything valuable to you will have a dollar sign in front of it, so make sure you weigh every option available to you when negotiating.

3. Know You May Not Get What You Want and That’s Okay

It is one thing to know your worth and it is another, entirely, to respect it. Know that if you are going to negotiate your salary, there is a chance that negotiations may fail, and you may see just how undervalued someone in your position is to those on the other side of the table.

Know that it is okay—more than okay—to walk away from negotiations, if you are being greatly devalued and even your most basic salary needs cannot be met.

Part of being in-demand means that you have options. Make sure you explore all of them and choose the best fit for you, not just what you will settle for. You should respect yourself and your expertise enough to do that, and the right employer will respect that, as well.

Disclaimer: The viewpoint expressed in this article is the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the viewpoint of the owners or employees at Healthcare Staffing Innovations, LLC.