Have you waited long enough for an increase in salary?
Are you ready to take the matter into your own hands?
Here are a few things to consider before you dive into salary negotiations.
- Timing: Why do you feel now is the right time to ask for a raise? Has it been a long time since your salary has been adjusted? Have you taken on more responsibility and handled it successfully? Is your company profitable? Have you recently been recognized for excellent performance? Are you very busy and depended upon in your position? Timing is everything when it comes to negotiating your salary. The more important you are to the company and the more able the company is to fulfill your salary requirements, the better your chances of getting a positive response.
- Knowing Your Worth: Do you know what the industry average for people in your position with your level of experience? It’s a good thing to know for negotiation purposes and in the case that you are willing to search elsewhere if you do get turned down when you request an increase in salary. In comparison to others in the same position, what makes you stand out? Maybe you deserve above the industry standard. Just be prepared to explain why.
- Preparing Your Case: In addition to having data on similar employment within your industry, have an outline of your significant contributions to the company and what direction you plan to take in the future. Whether you’re applying for a new job or negotiating a raise in salary, the best information to supply is specific, quantitative information. How much money were you able to save the company? Those in sales jobs will want to show how many sales were made within a set period of time. Did you consistently exceed your quota? Bring in a huge client? A customer service rep may want to use call reports as evidence of consistently meeting or exceeding goals (volume, call time). Whatever position you are in, the bottom line counts and the best way to show you’re contributing to it is with solid statistics. The more detailed information you can provide your boss, the better he or she will be able to state your case to his or her superior.
- Deciding on Your Goal: When asking for anything in life, you should be certain you know what you want. Otherwise you’re leaving the decision up to someone else and you may come out dissatisfied. How much of an increase are you looking for? Don’t be surprised if your boss asks you this directly. If you’ve already decided that you deserve a raise and you’ve prepared your reasons as to why, you should also decide how much at minimum will satisfy you. If you’re convinced by evidence that you deserve it, then you shouldn’t have trouble asking for what you want (and asking for more than that with the hopes of landing where you want). It is a negotiation after all. You should also consider other perks or offers your employer might offer you and which ones will be acceptable to you. Be ready for every scenario and prepare your responses for them.
- Knowing Who, When, Where: Always negotiate your salary with your direct superior. Never go above his or her head or to the Human Resources department. Pick or schedule an appropriate time when your boss will have time to listen and focus on what you have to say. Always talk about salary face-to-face. Do not send an email or have the discussion over the phone.
- Knowing When to Listen: Yes, you’ve arranged this meeting and you’re there to tell your side. Don’t dominate the discussion. Say what has to be said and then listen. Listen closely and give your employer plenty of room to talk. Often the more time people are given to talk, the more they will say – even just to fill that silence. In addition, it is important that you listen to all your boss has to say. You want to be cooperative, not demanding and combative. You will likely gain and understanding of how things work within the company and what the company is both willing and able to do in your favor. Always be professional, polite, and respectful. Don’t take things personally. This is a business transaction. As such, there may be things you need to decide upon separately. Take the time to think and go over all details as you would with any business decision.
- Confirming the Details: It is always a good idea to confirm the details of your discussion. Take notes and write down what you and your boss have agreed upon verbally. Get any salary promises in writing. If you were not able to obtain an increase in salary, find out when you will be able to revisit the issue. Be prepared to decide what your next steps will be.
Lynn Mattoon is a Content Editor & Career Writer for SalesHeads.com and other Beyond.com career communities. You can follow her on Twitter at BeyondCareers.
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