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​How to Prepare Your Salary Negotiation Discussion

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How to Prepare Your Salary Negotiation Discussion

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No one likes discussing money: a conversation concerning salary with your employer can therefore be an intimidating prospect. However, a successful wage negotiation can be beneficial for both parties. In the first instalment of our Women’s Mentorship Session in partnership with HerCapital, Rutherford explores some tips and strategies for initiating a successful salary discussion. These ideas stem from a virtual roundtable held on the 17th March 2021 with Joy Rhoades, a successful author and ex-Managing Director at renowned financial services firm JPMorgan.

Whether you are starting a new role in a different company or looking for a raise as an existing member of staff, we will explore when you should bring up a salary discussion, how to successfully negotiate and what to do in the unlikely circumstance that you’re unsuccessful in your negotiation.

Doing Your Salary Negotiation Research

If you have decided to broach the topic of salary with your employer, it is crucial to be prepared beforehand. Failing to know the market rate for your position and expertise can prove fatal in a salary negotiation, allowing the employer to lead the conversation. Below, we will briefly explore what to know before initiating a discussion concerning your salary expectations and where to find the relevant information.

It may be that your have recently assumed a new role within a company where your responsibilities and the demands on your time have grown without any additional compensation. In this case, before opening a discussion with your employer about this issue, familiarise yourself with the market rate for your position.

You can find the average salary ranges for your area of expertise by looking on sites such as PayScaleor Glassdooror by reviewing recent salary surveys for your field; you can find these published on recruitment sites such as Rutherford's. Salaries continually fluctuate due to the inflation rate, so it is important to keep in the know about changes in the market.

Leverage your network and connections, and if you have the opportunity ask your associates - both men and women - about how much they are being paid. This will help reveal any inequalities in pay related to the gender gap.

You can also talk to recruiters, who can offer invaluable consultancy when considering opening a salary discussion and know exactly what people with your expertise are worth. They may not be able to provide a specific number, but they will be able to offer a range. This will help you identify a compensation package you would ideally like to receive.

Knowing the numbers is invaluable: a hiring manager cannot argue against verifiable statistics. Joy Rhoades advises that you present your request for a raise by highlighting that you have done your market research and expressing that you are 'being paid out of sync with the market and my role is demanding X". Alternatively, "this is where people of my experience and role are being paid, and I'm being paid that minus X". Alternatively, 'this is where people of my experience and role are being paid, and I'm being paid that minus X".

Assuming you are entitled to top pay will help you negotiate a figure both you and your employer are satisfied with. Further, according to studies, asking for a very specific number - for example £61,595 and not £62,000 - demonstrate to an employer that you have done in-depth market research and know what you want; leaving them less likely to negotiate downwards.

Discussing and Negotiating Your Salary

Want more information and tips on discussing and negotiating your salary? Make sure to look at our other resources on the topic:

The Rutherford x HerCapital Mentorship Initiative

In March 2021, Rutherford officially launched in partnership with HerCapital an initiative to create safe spaces where women in senior roles within financial services could coach and mentor ambitious women in mid-level functions who are looking to move up the corporate ladder and invest in their career. Find out more about the initiative here.

About HerCapital

HerCapital was founded in 2019 with the mission to empower women to become financially independent and to take control of their income. The two founders, Zabreen Khan and Rabiya Ather, aim to create a strong community of women who are looking to become confident investors and to be equipped with tools who will help them be part of the conversation when it comes to investing and managing personal finances.

This initiative with Rutherford is enabling the non-profit organisation to expand its current horizons, by providing safe spaces for their community to discuss career goals and progression with well-established women in senior positions. This will help empower women to also take control of their career and future.


If you wish to know more about the initiative or get in touch with Rutherford to be part on the next session, please contact Genevieve Higgins-Desbiens, Marketing Manager at Rutherford.