How to confidently negotiate your executive salary

Executive Job Search

Negotiating executive salaries can be intimidating, especially when you’re applying for a new job. After all, you want to make sure you’re being fairly compensated for your hard work and experience. But the good news is that by doing your research and preparing for the negotiation, you can confidently ask for a higher salary and potentially increase your earning potential.

Here are five tips for negotiating a higher executive salary:

Do your research

Before you even start the negotiation process, it’s important to determine the market value for your position and industry. Look at salary data for similar executive positions at other companies to get a sense of what you should be earning. You can find this information through online resources such as salary comparison websites or by networking with professionals in your field.

It’s also helpful to have a range in mind, with the lower end being what you’re willing to accept and the higher end being your ideal salary. This way, you have some flexibility during the negotiation process.

Know your worth

In addition to researching market values, it’s important to assess your own qualifications, skills, and experience. Make a list of your accomplishments and contributions to past companies, as well as any additional training or education you have received.

Use this information to determine what you are and are not willing to accept in terms of salary. It’s okay to have non-negotiable terms, such as a certain minimum salary or certain benefits. By knowing your worth, you’ll be able to make a strong case for why you deserve a higher salary.

Prepare for the negotiation

Negotiation can be nerve-wracking, so it’s important to practice beforehand. Find a trusted friend or mentor to role play with, or practice your negotiation skills on your own. Think about possible counterarguments and how you might address them.

It’s also a good idea to have a list of questions ready to ask the employer during the negotiation process. This can help you get a better understanding of the company’s budget and priorities, as well as any additional perks or benefits that might be on the table.

Make your case

During the actual negotiation, be prepared to use data and examples to demonstrate your value to the company as an executive. Emphasise your accomplishments and contributions, and make it clear that you are worth the investment. It can also be helpful to have a salary range in mind, rather than a specific number, as this allows for some flexibility.

If you have a non-negotiable term, such as a certain minimum salary, be upfront about it. It’s better to be honest and clear about your expectations from the start rather than risk a potentially awkward or uncomfortable negotiation later on.

Be open to compromise

While it’s important to advocate for yourself and ask for a fair salary, it’s also important to be open to compromise. Maybe the company can’t meet your desired salary but is willing to offer additional benefits, such as extra vacation time or a flexible work schedule.

Alternatively, you might be willing to negotiate on certain terms in order to secure the job. Just be sure to consider what is most important to you and be prepared to walk away if necessary.

Be respectful and professional

Above all, it’s important to approach salary negotiation with respect and professionalism. Avoid being aggressive or confrontational, and try to stay focused on the facts and data rather than getting personal. By maintaining a respectful and professional demeanour, you’ll be more likely to have a successful negotiation and build positive relationships with your colleagues.


Negotiating executive salaries can be intimidating, but by doing your research, knowing your worth, preparing for the negotiation, making a strong case and being open to compromise, you can confidently ask for a higher salary and potentially increase your earning potential. Remember, you deserve to be fairly compensated for your hard work and experience.

Main image credit:  Photo by Thomas Lipke on Unsplash