Negotiating your salary can be scary, but if you don't ask, you often won't get; and it turns out that negotiating is simpler than most people realize. Not always easy mind you, but very simple.
Do you know that a majority of employers expect to negotiate? That means that their first offer is not their best and you are leaving money on the table if you don't negotiate. What if the employer you are talking with doesn't negotiate? They will tell you that, and then you have to decide whether to accept their original offer. But as long as you are negotiating well, it won't hurt to ask.
A good negotiation comes down to doing your research. It doesn't matter what you made at your last job, how much your car payment is, or how much you want to make. What does matter is the market value of the job that you are doing. Finding that in the internet age is surprisingly simple. There are a ton of sites that give salary ranges including Glassdoor.com, Salary.com and a recent addition, LinkedIn.com. You can also look on industry specific sites and the Department of Labor.
Don't forget to consider benefits when negotiating your salary. Most will have a dollar value attached, and even those that don't will have value of some sort to you.
Need help determining the specifics of your negotiation? We'd love to talk.