How to Effectively Negotiate at Work

Asking for more of anything at work is generally a daunting task. As much as we hope that our work will speak for itself, it is not always the case. The best way to get what you want, is to ask for it; but how? When it comes to negotiating what you deserve, Natasha Jeshani, President & CEO of Career Contacts, has some tried and true tips on how to prepare, execute and successfully ask for what you deserve.

Here are a few key ways to find your voice and use it!


The easiest way to stall a negotiation is to not exactly know what it is that you are asking for.

If you are wanting a raise: understand how much you want, and by when.

If you want a promotion: know what title you want, what team you want to be a part of, the new work you want to take on, and when you want to start.

Looking for some added flexibility with your schedule? Know exactly what you need and be prepared to show them how you plan to continue to deliver and execute your role without interruption.

Pro Tip: if you are a working parent that wants more flexibility to support childcare, the best thing to do is to be upfront about that need, but also clear on how you plan to ensure all the work still gets done, the support you will need and the hours you will be online vs. offline.

You were hired to do a role and the organization needs to feel confident that the work will get done. If you do the problem solving for them, the “yes” is much easier to get!


It is not enough to just know what you want; you need to ensure your ask is reasonable.
The best way to justify that, is to do your research.

If you understand industry standards, know what colleagues in similar roles are making, or how your role is positively impacting your company’s bottom line, you will be equipped to ask for (and get) what you deserve.

Pro Tip: working with external recruitment teams like the ones at Career Contacts will allow you to be transparent with what you are looking for and ask for advice on what the salary ranges are, what the benefits packages look like, what working conditions look like etc.



Feeling that pit in your stomach, and thinking “I’m just not good at negotiating” or “I’m not good at advocating for myself”? According to an article by CNBC, 60% of women say they’ve never negotiated their salary. The problem is that far too often, we will only get what we ask for.

The solution? Practice!

Ask a friend or a colleague to let you try a few ways that feel natural for you. Just like with anything in life, the more you do it, the more comfortable you will feel.

Now, we know that we cannot (or should not) put all the pressure on employees to ask for what they want, right? Career Contacts is also committed to helping companies to create strong recruitment and retention programs.

The strongest company cultures are the ones that recognize the value of their people, and show them (through actions, not just words) how much their people mean to them.

If you lead a team or organization, here are three ways you can support your employees.


The only way you can truly know if you are paying equitably, is to ensure you do the work to review your compensation plans and hold them up against current industry standards, local economies, and your team’s performance.



At Career Contacts, we advocate for pay transparency as one of the leading ways in which we will create pay equity. Women are disproportionately affected by pay inequity (and women of colour even more so).

By posting your salary ranges in your job postings, the transparency creates a much more amicable negotiation process, and demonstrates your organization’s commitment to truly being people-centered.


If you have made it this far, you already know the feeling your employees get as they prepare to ask for more. Instead of putting them through that, why not create proactive steps to provide transparency on how employees can ask for more (of whatever it is they need to feel seen, heard and supported).

Pro Tip: engage with one of the HR Consultants at Career Contacts to build out clear policies and processes for raises, vacation increases, work from home requests etc.

Natasha Jeshani is the President and CEO of Career Contacts, an HR & Recruitment Consulting firm. She is also the Founder of Training Arch, which supports organizations with Corporate Learning and Development. In 2018, Natasha published The HR Insider, how to land your dream job and keep it, which hit #1 on Amazon.