Job Salary Negotiation

Job Salary Negotiation

The quickest way to increase your earning potential is to ask for a pay increase at your current job, or negotiating your salary at a new job you’re starting.

Sounds like a pretty easy get rich fix, right?

The truth is most people are completely terrified to ask for a raise and often take whatever is given to them by their managers. In doing so they are leaving tens of thousands of dollars (or more) in lifetime earnings on the table all because of a phobia. Job salary negotiation is something we may dread, but it’s often worth the couple of minutes of awkward conversation.

According to a compensation survey conducted by PayScale over 50% of employees never asked for a raise for fear of appearing “pushy” or possibly losing your job. If your employer fires you because you’re asking for a raise, they’re either a terrible employer, or you weren’t that great of an employee. Odds are though you won’t lose your job AND if you go about asking the correct way you won’t appear pushy. In fact, you may even gain some points just for speaking up.

Employers want to keep their best employees happy because finding new employees is a hassle and very expensive (recruiting, training). It’s in the interest of both parties to come to an agreement on pay where both sides feel they’ve been treated fairly.

TOP FIVE SALARY NEGOTIATION TIPS

1)Prepare…and then prepare some more

Before you step into your boss’ office to ask for more money you should have a strong case for why you deserve a raise and a script to explain these reasons to your boss (or potential boss).

Start by visiting www.payscale.com or www.salary.com. These websites can provide you with comparable salary information about your job, which should be the starting point for your negotiation. If you’re currently making below the average salary for your job, you should be able to explain to your boss quite easily why you deserve a raise to that mark. If you feel you’re better than the average person in your type of job you should have specific performance examples of why you feel this way.

Practice your pitch to family members, friends or a mirror. Rehearsing out loud will make you feel a lot more comfortable when the talk finally happens.

 2) Smile and get them saying “yes”

This may seem like an odd tip, but it’s incredibly effective.

Smiling makes you appear less threatening and shows that you’re in control of the moment and not desperate. You are not forcing your boss to give you a raise, rather you’re asking for a “pay adjustment” that accurately reflects your contributions in the workplace.

Before your actual “pay adjustment” request, open the conversation with questions/comments that will have your boss nodding there head (think of this as foreplay – you’re getting them in the mood!) Tell your boss that you enjoy working here and anything else that’s positive about your workplace. This puts them in a relaxed position, which will make them more likely to keep saying yes!

3) The Number – Should You Show Your Hand?

When it comes to revealing your desired salary there are two schools of thought. The first is that you should never say your number first, as you may be selling yourself short. The other is to say an aggressive number right off the bat to start the bidding high.

I feel it depends on the circumstance of your status with the company. If you’re being offered a job, or going through the interviewing process, it’s wise to avoid providing a number because there’s a good chance you may sell yourself short – you don’t know what their budget might be.

If you have already been working at your job and are requesting a raise it’s probably best to request a specific dollar amount. This will give your employer an idea of the level of raise you’re looking for and the negotiation can go from there.

4) Be Flexible

When coming to the negotiation table you should be willing to accept other forms of compensation instead of strictly cash. Be willing to accept additional vacation time, less working hours, or company perks instead.

Showing your employer that you’re flexible with your compensation package will make them more likely to offer you better rewards.

5) “Now is just not a good time”

There’s a chance your employer may try to shrug you off, or say no outright to your request. Be prepared for this answer, and don’t see it as a rejection, but as the starting point to negotiation.

The main thing is not to become emotional – keep smiling J (you can curse later!)

Start by asking what you could do in the future to warrant such a raise, and see if they are open to revisiting the conversation in a couple months. This is a very reasonable request, and if you’re boss wants to keep you around, they’re likely to agree. Make sure you set a specific time to revisit and follow up.

Final Word

Sometimes managers/bosses legitimately can’t give you a raise for various reasons, but statistics show more often than not people who ask for a raise get one. After you’ve had the conversation, no matter the outcome, you’ll feel good about at least having the guts to speak up for yourself and in the process will have gained some valuable experience.

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4 comments

  1. Hi Jonny,

    What a great article! You hit right on the nail. I think you have your site set up very well and you provide good information. Keep up the good work!

    Julie

  2. Hi there
    This is so weird as I literally just submitted a proposal to my boss yesterday to expend my role and increase my salary! I came in prepared, had all the facts straight and made a good case. I am awaiting an answer but I feel it went well. I find that with time and experience I am more comfortable to ask what I feel I deserve to have. Yes I might not get everything (and I started with a higher number to leave room for negotiations) but I stated how I value my work and what I am bringing in to the agency. So fingers crossed!
    emily recently posted…Human zoo: the example of the Selk’Nam nativesMy Profile

    • Jonny

      Nice – congrats Emily!
      I recall during my last salary negotiation I waited almost 2 months before they got back to me! I would lightly inquire every few weeks and eventually it worked out to a 20% raise!
      I hope it goes well for you. you’ve already managed to do the hardest part!

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