Salary Negotiation Tips for Every Age Group

No Matter How Old You Are, We Can Help You Negotiate

By Jim Hopkinson.Salary.com contributing writer

There’s a single, crucial skill that will prove incredibly valuable throughout your career. It’s not learning how to code, being a great public speaker, knowing how to dig into financials, or being blessed with the ability to sell anything to anyone. The key skill you need to have is the ability to adapt to change.

Programming languages change, new accounting rules come out each year, and whom you speak and sell to fluctuates over time. But if you’re able to continually adapt to a new environment, you set yourself up for success throughout your career.

The same goes for negotiating your salary. There’s not one single approach to take, but rather, adjusting your goals throughout your career. Let’s see how things can change over time.

Early 20s (Age 18-25)
Salary.com anxiety scale: 80%
It’s no surprise that anxiety around negotiation is at its highest when you’re still at university or interviewing for your first job. The reason is that you probably haven’t learned many negotiation skills, don’t have much practice, and frankly, you don’t have a lot of leverage at this point. The main goal in your early 20s isn’t about negotiating a massive salary, it’s about learning the necessary tips and techniques and putting them into practice. CLICK TO READ MORE…

Late 20s (Age 26-32)
Salary.com anxiety scale: 74%
As you enter your late 20s, you may be already be in your second, third, or even fourth job. What’s fortunate in today’s climate is that job-hopping does not hold the same stigma that it did for previous generations. In your 20s you should still be in the learning phase, taking risks and seeking out jobs that challenge you while you’re still young. CLICK TO READ MORE…

30s (Age 33-39)
Salary.com anxiety scale: 71%
By your 30s you’ve probably established the industry and type of work that you enjoy doing. You now have 15 years of professional experience, with several key ‘wins’ on your resume. No longer are you looking for jobs in the shotgun-style, I’ll-take-anything approach from the previous decade. Instead, when seeking out a new role, you might start with a short list of the top 5-7 companies that you’d really like to work for. CLICK TO READ MORE…

40s (Age 40-50)
Salary.com anxiety scale: 69%
In your 40s your priorities change again. You are in your peak earning years, so you want to make sure you’re hitting on all cylinders. For many professionals, at this point you’re married, have children, and have settled into a particular community. In terms of salary, as usual you’ll want to do your research and make sure you’re at the top of the range. You may need to step back and do a self-analysis: How has your industry changed in the past 5-10 years? What new skills are needed – and do you have them? CLICK TO READ MORE…

50s (Age 51-60)
Salary.com anxiety scale: 63%
As you enter your 50s, anxiety around negotiation has dropped a bit since you’ve been there and done that. However, new concerns might pop up around getting laid off. This is where that ability to adapt comes in. CLICK TO READ MORE…

60s and beyond
Salary.com anxiety scale: 51%
Ah, the end is near. You’re going to ride out the wave, collect your gold watch, and drive straight to the retirement home, right? Hardly. CLICK TO READ MORE…

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The first thing you should do is research, so you’re able to come to the table armed with the knowledge of what your job is worth. Use our free Salary Wizard below to find out what’s a fair salary for your position. You can enter your location, education level, years of experience and more to find out an appropriate salary range before you negotiate.

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