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How to Storytelling is Used to Negotiate Your Salary

Updated: Jun 2, 2023

You’ve done it! You’ve landed the job you worked so hard to get, but the work isn’t quite over yet. Now it’s time for the salary negotiation. It may be tempting to just take what they are offering, especially if you are a bit timid and intimidated. However, did you know that if you apply the art of storytelling to the negotiation process, you have a better chance of walking away with a higher salary? Here are a few reasons why.

They’ll know where you’re coming from. Certainly, you could just walk in and simply ask for the end goal salary you want, but explaining to your employer how you got to what you want is better. Don’t let the thought of doing this intimidate you as you are always telling stories throughout the day, so just apply the same techniques you already know. For example, perhaps you’ve found that other people in your position are paid $5000 more per year on average. Explain how you found this out. Did you do research online? Do you personally know other people who work in your job? Did a trusted career advisor tell you this? Whatever applies to you is the beginning of your story.

Tie the story to your strategy. It’s not enough to just tell a story, you must loop it back to the strategy of getting your employer to give you more money. In general, most people don’t rush to give you more money, so of course this could be a challenge. That’s why it’s important to tie your story back to your ultimate goal. Therefore, if you personally know others who have this job and are paid more, don’t just explain this as a fact but rather tie this fact back to why you’re asking for more money. For example, detail what they do in their jobs and how that’s similar to what you’ll be doing and explain how that is proof you’re worth the same amount of money.

Storytelling appeals to emotion & helps others remember you. Salary negotiation can go beyond the matter of fact and move to emotion. When you tell a story about yourself or how you’ve come to your feelings about how much you should be paid, you are creating a sense of emotional connection with your negotiator. It also helps the employer remember you and what matters to you more than your counterpart that simply sends a few lines in an email asking for more money.

The good thing about storytelling is that you’re better at it than you think. Why? Because it’s part of your daily life. As you practice implementing storytelling into aspects of your job search, you’ll become more comfortable using the practice in this setting too. For salary negotiation, stay focused on your end goal and think about how you can appeal to your employer on that emotional level. The better you get at this, the more likely you’ll get the increased income you’re looking for.

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