You miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take!

By Liz Steelman
Updated January 23, 2018

Wahoo! You just got offered that awesome new job you’ve been really wanting—congratulations! But you’re looking at the offer letter and seeing that, well, the salary is a little less than you hoped for. Instead of accepting that you’ll sell all your clothes, not fly home for the holidays, and eat ramen whenever possible, you could try and negotiate your salary. Yes, it might sound scary. Yes, we know that voice in back of your head is asking, “What if they rescind the offer?” and “What if they say no?” And here’s the truth: 1. They probably won’t, and 2. That’s the worst that could happen!

Still scared? Look to the success story of Reddit user spaceisroomy, who posted on the Personal Finance subreddit describing her tale of negotiating for a new job. She describes herself as someone who avoids confrontation like the plague and disclosed that she has never negotiated a salary before. Though she went into the negotiation thinking she’d come out empty handed, she actually got more than originally offered.

Inspired by her success story, nearly 900 people commented sharing their own negotiation tactics. Some were successful. Some were not. Here, four solid tips of advice from those who negotiated their salary:

Think outside of your salary.

Many times, higher salaries are declined simply because there is no room in the budget. However, it’s likely than an employer will be able to tack on additional paid time off, flexible schedules, or other benefits like a monthly stipend for food or travel, but only if you make your case. Spaceisroomy initially wanted $7,000 more than the original offer and asked for it. Though her boss declined her asks for $7k and $5k more, they worked out that she would be given a generous monthly gas allowance.

Identify each party’s interests.

A good negotiation technique? User jvlpdillon recommends figuring out what your employer’s priorities are with your position and working your asks around that. For example, if your company is looking to fill the position ASAP to start working with another client, you might be able to use that information to tack on some extra money or a spot bonus to your salary. Jumping from one position to the next, but a raise in salary out of the question? See if you can negotiate a later start date for a rejuvenating vacation instead of more cash.

Find out how much the position is valued.

If you’re lucky enough to have two offers, use negotiation to figure out which opportunity values the position more. “If an employer really wants you they will do whatever is possible to land you,” says user Sallman11. If one of the jobs sounds better on paper, but doesn’t try to offer you anything more, the position might be limited or devalued by the company. However, if the other one seems to come with lackluster benefits but tries to meet your asks when negotiating, the position might be more integral and offer room for growth. “It’s always worth it to take that shot to find out just how valuable they see you as,” Sallman11 writes.

Treat yourself like a business.

Often times, we tend to welcome the value that our bosses assign to us. But there is a value for the knowledge, skills, and experience you bring to the company, and it’s unlikely that the number your company wants to pay for your services is really your true value—unfortunately, they’re trying to save money with a new hire. So in order to win the game, you have to play the game: It’s up to you to sell yourself to the company. “Assertive people get paid more, agreeable and timid people get paid less for the same job as assertive people, every single time,” says user Where_You_Want_To_Be.