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Seriously, just stop buying lottery tickets 

Girl, listen I get it, I have literally been there. You are working so hard and just not making enough. Maybe you are working a second part time job or hustling on the side to make just enough to scrape by. It does not have to be this way!

It''s not going to be easy, but it's time to ask for a raise! 

Let's get through this one together and make more money. 



Make the negotiation happen and stay organized once it starts.


Research and learn your negotiating zone in dollars and cents.


Think outside the box, and be creative with other potential "asks" in the negotiation. 


Use these sample negotiations to get ready for the big day. The best way to learn is to try!


Try sitting on the other side of the table.


Remember your pre-final test or presentation routine? Time to repeat it with some new additions.


You made it through the negotiation! 

Now what? 

A Quick Note about Negotiation

Breaking down the elements to any negotiation is never simple, and one of the biggest mistakes any negotiator can do is to oversimplify.


My goal is to help you navigate your salary negotiation armed with the most information and highest level of confidence. 


If you are new to negotiation in general, I encourage you to learn more here:  



As someone who has studied negotiation academically and who has had both successful and not-so-successful negotiations, I have created this checklist to help you learn from my mistakes!  


Make sure you read through the entire checklist

before taking action as the steps are all interrelated. 

Checklist item #1 



Checklist item #1 

While studying Negotiation at Columbia University, my first class was

“Negotiation 101: An Introduction to the World of Negotiation.”


One of the most important lessons I learned in this class was on how to start, and much like taking off on a race, beginning well is everything. 


Success is in the details and starts with questions such as;

  • How does it start?

  • Where does it take place?

  • Who are the people involved?


In short, winners start well, so let's get you off on the right foot.


While the Agenda-setting stage can be the most irksome and nerve-wracking part of the negotiation, it's also the most important. 


If you are waiting for your employer to ask you into a negotiation,

it is NOT going to happen. 


I've done the work for you in making sure your agenda is set for success, so you can be off on your race. It's important to make it happen for yourself.


The first item on your checklist is sending an email setting up a meeting for the negotiation. 


Use these email templates to start your negotiation! 





There are some factors to take into account: How long have you been working in this position? Did you just start? You might want to check out

page instead. If you have just been promoted but the topic of salary did not come up, check out


instead. IF, however, you have been working in your current role for awhile (roughly 4+ months) and you need a raise then you are in the right place! If it's been less than 4 months that's okay - you can always ask, just try to modify these templates to fit your needs. 

Before you request a salary negotiation, make sure you have already completed, or will have enough time to complete the rest of this checklist!


Once, you set the date, it's time to set the agenda — this is mostly for you to orient yourself and stay on track during the negotiation. Here is a sample template for how this should look. Note; this template should be one of the last things you fill out because you will need to complete the other checklist items first.










Checklist item #2 



The best way to know what you’re asking for and why is to research, research, research and luckily for us we have this information at our fingertips!


You should never go into a negotiation blind! No, not Bird Box style, money style. By this I mean you should know what number you want to walk out of the room making, and why.


To do this you will need to find out, not just how much your job is on the market, but also how much your time is worth consummate with your skills, achievements, education, and so on.


For this step you will need: 


  • Most recent pay stub. 

  • A phone or computer with internet access. 

  • Your Budget. (don’t have a budget? Visit the resources guide for some ideas to get you started)  

  • A list of things you have done for your organization. 


This list can be things such as;  


  • Brought on 10 new clients in 6 months.

  • Launched a new marketing strategy that has sales up 30%.

  • Sold over $60,000 worth of product. 


Notice that these examples have numbers attached to them, they show how much in numerical value the work you do. While these are critical negotiating points for you, do not forget to also add other non-numerical things to your list such as;


  • Being consistently on time.

  • Constantly speaking up and volunteering for work-related (or non-work related) projects. 
  • Have never had a negative client complaint or employee review.  

  • Presented or attended a conference or meeting and positively represented the organization well. 


After you have compiled this list, head to Glassdoor, The Salary PayScale or the Salary Project to look up what other people with your new title are making. 

(Feel like creating some good karma?  Help other's out by listing what you were making in your last position, pre-promotion) 


Be sure to look not just at your organization, but in general what your position and skills are worth. You can also look at LinkedIn to search your position title to connect with others. 


Once your research is complete it's time to decide your strategy. 









Checklist item #2 

Checklist item #3 


Checklist item #3 

Nope, that's not a typo or a baseball reference. 


Your BATNA is your

Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement


Think of it as your backup, your other options. This is arguably the most important part of your negotiation because it's going to give you more power. Much like in the game of Baseball, players have options, in the form of bases.


A player can, of course, stay where they are, or they can try to run for that next base. You want to have as many bases to run to in a negotiation (metaphorically speaking of course).


Here's an example, let's say in a negotiation you know that if you do not get the amount of money that comes with the promotion you just received you can go to another organization across the street and make the dollar amount you want. Your ability to "walk away from the table", or "off the field" (if we are sticking with the baseball analogy) just grew enormously! You are much more relaxed and confident therefore in asking for what you want.


However, if the opposite is true, and you know this is your only option for this promotional title and position and you have to take whatever the company is willing to give you, then your negotiating power just got smaller and your willingness to stay at the table or at first base just became more solidified.

This is why researching your skills and your promotional title is so important. It gives you more information about what is out there if there are other positions that you can apply for if the negotiation does not go the way you want. 


Also, know that your BANTA may not just be money. Let's think about the second example, of having to stay on first base because it's your only option. You can still ask for other things in the negotiation that has nothing to do with salary. One of the biggest mistakes you can make in a negotiation is having nothing other than money to ask for. I learned this the hard way in a negotiation when my boss asked,


"Is there anything else I can give you?"


Without research or thinking about this question prior I  had nothing to say, no bases to run to. DO NOT MAKE MY MISTAKE! The answer is "YES"


Your next checklist item will ask you the same question. This guide will help you think of new bases and asks in your negotiation, don't be afraid to get creative, and swing to hit these asks out of the Park. 


Use this guide to brainstorm some alternative asks besides money!






Checklist item #4 



As with all things in life, the more we do something the better we become. Which is why this step is so vital to your success! Practicing negotiations is very difficult because it's nearly impossible to recreate the specific type of negotiation you will be having. However, you can practice the art of negotiation and learn to adapt. I designed this blog around the idea that the best way to prepare for something is to do it! 


For this phase, channel your inner Marie Kondo, and DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP! 


In this section, there are three practice negotiations, if you have time I recommend trying out each of them! Otherwise, select the one that you find most interesting (don't worry you'll be able to practice your own negotiation later) this stage is just to get you out of your own head for a bit and practice!  


It is critical that you do not cheat by reading the other sides paper and stick with the one that says "Employee" you will need to find someone to practice with you! This can be a close friend, significant other, parent, sibling etc. As long as you think this person will take this seriously, go for it! If you have an Aunt who is a lawyer, I recommend asking them to help you roleplay with one of the scenarios since they will be more accustomed to a real scenario.


If the idea of calling up one of these people is too daunting, I am available for 1 hour long consults, feel free to click on this link to contact me for a session! 


Each section has an instructional page for you and your partner to read before you begin! Good luck and have fun! 


Role Play # 1: Techno Inc 










Role play # 2: 









Role play # 3: 

Employee Description 

Boss Description



Checklist item #4 

Checklist item #5 


Now that you have some experience negotiating, it's time to focus on your specific salary negotiation! Except, instead of practicing for yourself, you will be playing the role of your boss or the person negotiating with you. Scary right? 


When I was in High School I did Public Forum Debate, in which the debate was determined by a coin toss who would be arguing which side. This meant that my debate partner and I had to be ready to argue in favor or against the topic. Doing this meant that we had a great understanding of the issue we were discussing. 


This tactic might seem unnecessary but it's not, knowing what arguments your opponent might say, gives you an advantage when it comes to making your case. In this section, you will be thinking about all the things your boss might "hold against you." Remember way back when in checklist item #2 Show Me The Money when you listed out your accomplishments? Now you have to do the opposite. Be honest with yourself what are some things your boss might say are reasons for not giving you a huge salary bump?  Do you sometimes turn in projects late? Are you late to work? Did you lose a client? Etc. 


Additionally, your boss may blame things that are beyond your control. Ie: the economy, a company rule, etc.






In this template write out these reasons and think of what your response would be, then practice your own negotiation with a partner. Using these templates to fill out the information. 



to these statements, avoid using excuses and try to focus on accepting that you are human and you make mistakes but you are reading or listening to a specific podcast to make it better. 

This template has some of these common scapegoats and some sample answers but feel free to think of your own. 







Checklist item #5 


Checklist item #6 



Checklist item #6 

So you have researched everything you can about your ideal salary, you have your BATNA, and you've practiced your heart out! But what happens after the negotiation? 



Ideally, your negotiation will be nothing but a whole bunch of YES! You will get your ideal salary and all your BATNA's! If this happens, congrats! You hit the negotiation jackpot! 



Unfortunately, the world is an imperfect place, and your boss may give you nothing but NO, and make you feel like all this hard work was for nothing. In that case, ask if you can re-negotiate in 2 - 6 months, if this is still a no -go then get ready to re-think your options and start looking at your BATNA's! 



This is the most likely scenario, you will win some and lose some, you may get your ideal salary and some of your BATNA's but not all, or you may get less money than you wanted, but got all your BATNA's! 


In each situation don't be afraid to ask questions and remember that getting a NO is just the start of the negotiation. 

No matter what happens, tell yourself how proud you are for doing all this hard work and for being brave enough to negotiate! 


Checklist item #7 



Checklist item #7 

As your final checklist item, make sure you are physically and mentally prepared for your big day! You've practiced, researched, and prepared as best as you can! 


You know the drill; 

Like with any big test or event in your life, be sure to; 

  • Get a good night's sleep. 

  • Eat a big breakfast. 

  • Give yourself some mantra's to repeat when you start to get nervous. (Samples Below) 

  • Wear your favorite power outfit etc.​

While there is no magic solution to making you more confident overnight, there are some psychological tips you can use to go the extra mile! 



The Power Pose 














Amy Cuddy reveals the importance of your body language and the connection to our success! 


How To Make Stress Your Friend! 














Don't underestimate how stressful negotiations can be! Let Psychologist Kelly McGonigal redefine what stress looks like! 

Need help thinking of more BATNA's?

The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us! 















Listen to Economist Danny Pink explain the hidden drivers behind our motivation.



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