A lot of people have been asking me this same question for more than I could remember. How much salary adjustment should I ask for in my next job? 20%? 30%? 40%? or even 80%?

My answer is “It depends“. Yes, it really depends on your experience and few conditions but always remember not to ask for too much. Never ever overestimate yourselves.

All human beings are greedy by nature. It is natural for us to ask for more when it comes to monetary stuff. Nearly everyone I know is not satisfied with their current salary, regardless of how high their actual salary is. And out of 10 jobseekers I know, only about 5 or 6 got their requested salary….yet, nearly all of them will feel they should’ve asked for more. This is human nature – greedy.

When you are leaving your company for a new job, there will only be few reasons as to why you are leaving your current job – for better pay, better opportunities, better job prospect, or you cannot stand your current job. In the end, most of the reasons will end up with one thing – money. So it’s quite normal for anyone to ask for a better pay in the new job….but the question is how much adjustment should we ask for?

If you’re a fresh graduate or someone who has only about 1 year of experience in the field related to your next job, you can ask for 10-20% increment. If you are lucky, you might get 30+ % increment…but nothing more than that. Don’t ever try to ask for 40% or more because your interviewer will think you work only for money and you’re way over your head (too much confidence can be a bad thing). Some fresh graduates actually told me how good they are in their job, and at the same time demanded (or in a more polite term, requested) more than 40% adjustment from their current pay. I can only tell them that they’re way too confident. They will only be given that much (by their employers, not me) after they have proven themselves (after probation period).

If you have more than 3 years of related working experience, you can ask for more but still falls within the 20-40% range. Not many companies will give you anything more than that especially when you are not proven. If the company is desperately looking for someone like you, then you’re lucky. You might actually get an adjustment of more than 40%.

In the end, it’s the problem of striking the balance – to understand how much you worth….without getting over your head. :) Just try to aim for an adjustment of 30-40%……and rest assure that your future employers will bargain with you. Hahhaa, that will happen EVERYTIME ! Unless you are in the right place, right time…then who knows, maybe the employer will even increase your requested 30% to 50% !

All the best in your negotiation !

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