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How to Negotiate Salary Or Ask for a Raise

Career & Business
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Learn how to negotiate your salary or ask for more money and be more content in the workplace.

Scenario #1: You’ve aced the interview and got offered the position, now it’s time to work out the money, but how?   Sometimes candidates are so eager to accept an opportunity they are afraid to rock the boat and take whatever salary the employer offers.       

Scenario #2: You’ve been crushing it at work and you’re mustering up the courage to ask for more money…but when and how does one go about asking for a pay raise?  How will it go down, especially if they say no?   

Whichever scenario describes where you are right now, you are certainly are not alone.   There are very few people who like talking about salary at all, and this phase of employment is often intimidating.  Some people never ask because they don’t want to be perceived as pushy while others are just too uncomfortable with the process.   

One thing that is worse than confronting the money situation is getting up every day to go to a job where you are believe you are underpaid.  When you add value, you should be compensated appropriately, and it’s up to you to know and ask for. what you deserve.  

In most cases you will not get it unless you ask for it and if you don’t you may be costing yourself thousands!  

If it’s a new job, you must negotiate before accepting the position.  Don’t get caught up in the excitement of the offer and remember most the hiring managers expect you to negotiate salary. 

When you’ve been at the company for a while and you become of greater value to them. It may be that you’ve taken on more responsibility, your role has expanded or changed,  or you’ve just become the best at what you do, whichever the case,  it may be time to ask for a raise.  

 So, how does one go about asking for more?  

Be prepared 

In either case, it is essential to prepare well before going into any type of salary negotiation.  

Do some research and know your value 

Your success will depend on the strategies you use to show how you contribute to the company.  A smart way to sell yourself and be convincing of your added value is to focus on the mission of the organization and how you going to help them.  Negotiations tend to go south when candidates become overconfident and focus on what the company should do for them.      

It is critical to know what your minimum and ideal compensation will be.    There are several websites you can easily access current salary trends.  To name a few, try glassdoor.comcareerbliss.com, or indeed.com.   There will always be a range which is based on many factors, such as: geography, education & credentials; experience; and detailed job descriptions.   Spend some time to get the most detailed information possible. These numbers can serve as both your starting and jumping-off points when negotiating.  

If youre a new hire, be ready to emphasize the unique skills and attributes that you bring and be ready to justify how they will benefit the company.    

Negotiation time 

You’ve convinced your manager you are a great asset and they want to you happy.  

New Hire:  

Let the hiring managers make the first offer. Don’t make the mistake of going first.  It is possible you ask for too little and you can’t negotiate when you set the bar.  It is the first offer that establishes a baseline from which you will work from. There’s generally about 10% wiggle room in an opening offer.  

One strategy candidates and managers may use is known as “the flinch”.  This means you listen to the first offer suggested by your employer, repeat it, and then go silent.  In that silence, it is  possible for hiring managers to suggest a higher offer on their own, or “flinch”.    Even if they do not, you cannot lose anything by doing this. 

Take your time before responding.   A moment of pause will help you gather your thoughts and stay focused on your research and talking points.  Speaking too soon can send the message that you’re anxious.    

Begin your counteroffer by emphasizing how you understand your role in the organization and what makes you uniquely qualified for more than their offer. This is where your research and preparation will pay in dividends.  Be confident yet humble.  Not all compensation has to me money.  If the company cannot pay you more, explore what benefits they offer and consider their value. For example, they may not be able to increase your wage, but will allow you to work from home once you’ve established yourself.  Maybe they can offer extra vacation days, or a company paid vehicle.  These perks can be worth thousands.   

Remember, things cannot always go as per your ideal, which is why you have to be clear on what your minimum is.    If you don’t get everything you want, make sure you are not walking away feeling bitter or you will start on the wrong foot and things never get better from there.  It is ok to ask your employer for a 3- or 6-month review and if they are then happy with you, to reconsider a bitter salary.  

If you do decide to accept, show appreciation for the opportunity and your commitment to giving your all to the position.   

Asking for a raise 

When asking for a raise, have both general and specific examples of how you have     contributed to the growth of the company.   Management will want to know about your performance and how you have contributed to making their department run better and the company’s goals a reality. Thus, you need to prepare the right answers to these questions. Be ready to confidently discuss projects you’ve competed successfully and how they contributed to the overall success of the department or company.   

Remember, being on time and doing your job is what you are getting paid to do in the first place.  If you’re looking for more money, don’t focus on the things that are expected of you anyway.    Show them how you work faster and save them time, (and money) or that you’ve helped to increase others productivity or revenue.   

If you need to, make a list of your accomplishments and talking points.  It will make it easier for you when you have this conversation with management.  

All companies have goals and it is safe to assume that somewhere there is a board of directors mainly concerned with the bottom (profit) line.   Thus, it is possible to come out with a raise if you can show how much you have contributed to the company’s growth. 

Do not demand or give ultimatums  

Never make the mistake of approaching the hiring managers with this attitude when asking for a salary increase.  You will invariably lose.  Even if you get more money that day, you will likely taint the relationship with management and end up on the short list should the company have to make changes.  There is a fine line between confidence and cockiness, and you will not be perceived as a team player if you approach your employer with an attitude of entitlement.    

You win when you anticipate the interests of your boss and make them understand what you can do to make the goals of the company a reality. 

Final thoughts:  

 Don’t be surprised if your boss seems to have more trust and respect for you after your negotiations.  You are amongst the 53% who dare to ask for what you are worth.  Salary negotiations can be nerve-wracking but having the fortitude to withstand them sends a very positive message about who you are as an employee and what you bring to the organization.    

Learn how a Career Coach can help you boost your career!

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