Salary negotiations when changing jobs

Let’s look at how to prepare for salary negotiations in a new job.

The foundation for good salary negotiations, and ultimately for a good and satisfactory result, is that you are fully prepared.

Find your market value

When negotiating salary for a new job, you should consider relevant salary statistics and your current salary package in order to make a realistic proposal.

Regardless of whether you are working in the private or public sector, you can use Djøf’s salary calculator (in Danish only) to get an idea of what other Djøf members in similar positions are making. 

 in our English section of the website. Read more about salary terms and benchmarking.

Prioritise your wishes

Before the negotiations, you should think about what you want to achieve and be clear about your priorities. Salary is important, but so is the rest of the salary package. For instance, consider whether you want the option of bonus/performance-based salary, extra holidays or working part time.

The right time for salary negotiations

You are in the best position to negotiate your salary when your coming employer has taken a liking to you as an employee. It is therefore a good idea to wait to negotiate salary until you are as far along in the process as possible.

However, you should still prepare your salary proposal early in the process, because you never know when the negotiations will take place.

Make the opening offer

When the salary negotiations are initiated, it is best if you start by presenting your salary expectations. This allows you to set the framework and create a ‘negotiation space’.

Remember to ask whether the salary being negotiated is inclusive or exclusive of pension. This can have a significant impact on the final outcome.

Your salary package

Large workplaces in the private and public sectors typically offer a ‘package’ with the overall salary and terms already set, for instance pension, health insurance, extra holidays and parental leave.

You can choose to challenge this package, but it is important to bear in mind that it can be difficult to change things that apply to all employees if they are set out in the staff manual or collective agreement. In such cases, you would typically benefit more from negotiating your salary level.

There is usually a better chance of creating an individual solution if you are negotiating for a position in a smaller company. In this situation, it is even more important that you carefully consider your ideal salary package before the salary negotiations start.

And always be aware of the various terms stated in your employment contract.

Use Djøf

You are welcome to send your new contract to dk¤djoef¤kontrakt to have it reviewed by an experienced Djøf consultant before signing.

You can always contact Djøf at dk¤djoef¤djoef or on telephone +45 33 95 97 00 for guidance and helpful advice on salary negotiations.

Good luck.


Learn more about benchmarking your salary and your annual salary negotiations.