So I have been thinking about what topic would be useful for this article round. I wanted to connect something from an everyday life and something I know all of you could actually use. So this is what came to my mind as one of the important messages I wanted to send to you.
How to negotiate your salary is important because I am sure all of us from time to time (or always) have wanted to have a higher salary but we just didn’t know how to negotiate for it to actually happen. Well, because of that I did a little bit of research, listened to a lot of people who have a voice and an opinion about this matter and I drew some of the important aspects and tips to how you can make this happen.
Negotiating your salary is actually way easier than you think. Now I will say that in some careers it will be easier and in others, you will have to try harder or try more times, but bottom line is, this is achievable.
Have you actually tried to negotiate your salary before? If so, how did it go for you? (You can leave your comments below.)
I will emphasize one important thing: learning how to negotiate your salary is a process and it works pretty much the same for any position. But have in mind that going in any battle blind will not get you to where you need to be. And because of that, we need to develop a strategy. Sun Tzu, in the Art of War, said:
the war is won before the actual battle – by planning it.
So before you rush into your boss’ office think about what you want to achieve in this raise and is it what you actually want. What do I mean by that?
Think about is more money the only thing you want or do you have your eyes and heart set on an actual promotion and change of position to a higher post. This is important because asking, for one thing, thinking you want it, can leave you wanting for more later.
In psychology, this is called compensation. This literally means the process of concealing or offsetting a psychological difficulty by developing in another direction. Sadly your heart will still be wanting what it wanted in the first place. So be careful and take the time to actually think if a raise is the only thing on your mind.
Also, it is important to get to the roots of your desires and to know why and where you want that money to go. This will give you extra ¨fire power¨ sorta say. And this will later help your motivation and drive in getting to the goal you set for yourself.
Maybe you want a bigger income so you can buy a house or a new car, or you just need it for your kids’ education or to help someone out. It can also be just to live more comfortably, it doesn’t matter but it can be useful in your pitch.
WHAT IS NEGOTIATION ACTUALLY?
Negotiation is a common method by which people settle differences or achieve their desired goals. It is a process of compromise and agreement in which both sides can state their pitch while avoiding argument and dispute using assertive communication skills.
The aim is to help both sides reach a mutual agreement and still maintain a good and lasting relationship which will have both their benefits at interest.
However, general negotiation skills can be learned and applied in a wide range of activities. And like in every process, negotiation is also built from more stages than one, which, if followed accordingly, will have most benefits to you.
So what are the negotiation stages?
- Clarification of goals
- Negotiate towards a Win-Win outcome
- Agreement (Compromise if needed)
- Implementation of a course of action
This is your battle plan. This is the plan that will get you to achieve your goals. Most of the times in life you will learn that a lot of things are one big compromise so it is best to have a solid ground on which you are building your house on. This battle plan is your building ground and the successful negotiation is your brand new house in which you will live comfortably.
And before you tell yourself that you won’t get this raise, remember why you are doing this, and don’t be afraid of success or failure.
Negotiation skills can be of great benefit in resolving any differences that arise between you and others. So for future reference, this is not the only time you will be using your newly acquired negotiation skills.
Let’s get to the point and see all the tips that can help you with getting the desired salary.
DO THE RESEARCH
This is actually one of the most important steps and yes, the very first one. This is a necessary part of negotiation because as I said, entering in the negotiation with your eyes shut is only going to take the opportunity away from you. And I for one want you to achieve what you can and deserve.
So do the research, ask around, see how much your position is actually worth in other companies or on the market in general and compare it to the one you have. Have in mind of course all the work you have been putting in and all the hours you have dedicated to being in the office.
A big important part is to also take a look and review your skills and competencies and see how much they are worth for your employer. This will help with your stepping ground when you enter that office or meeting room and state your play.
Also, don’t forget to do the research to whom you actually need to talk to in order to reach your goal. It is advised and best if you go straight to the person who has the power to decide. This is important because if not, your point will only go weaker and the top management will not hear the salary increase pitch as planned. On the other hand, they will hear from Joe that you want a salary raise because you work hard.
How much chance do you think you will have if this happens?
So because of that, do the research to who holds the key to your raise and try and go straight to the source with your pitch.
Before you do that, there is a few more steps you should take.
PREPARE YOUR PITCH
Salary negotiations are generally put, discussions between yourself and a representative of your current company in which you aim to help yourself secure a higher salary.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a long-time employee or a new hire: if you feel that your salary isn’t high enough, you should feel empowered to negotiate in order to get what you feel you deserve.
When you decide that you want to negotiate for a better salary, understand you will have to:
- Build your case: You will need to state and prove that you are worth investing more money in, with specific examples and situations of value in which you’ve given to employers in your career.
- Be prepared to hear the sound of resistance: Even air-tight cases for a salary increase can face resistance and hear a no, so be prepared to answer questions, especially those like: “Why do you deserve this salary? and ¨Why you and not someone else¨. ”
- Balance: Your salary negotiations won’t go as easy as you want. This is important if you refuse to give any mutual ground in the discussion or say “yes” to a minimal salary increase. Be prepared to go back-and-forth during negotiations and be sure that any compromise reached is acceptable.
This is a big part of your negotiation. Fear often makes us do what we don’t want to – mess things up and also prevent us from going after what we want. This is why at this stage you will be telling yourself all the reasons why you should probably just forget about this and go back to your job with the money you have already been offered.
And I understand, what if they say no? But what if they say yes? Imagine that! You will go home knowing you fought for yourself, gain more self-respect, self-esteem, more confidence, you will know you will have more resources in your life, you won’t have to think about every dollar, you will buy your kids a new pair of shoes, you will pay all the bills on time you will treat yourself to something amazing, etc. Imagine that part.
Failure is a part of life, it sucks but it is also an opportunity to take a look at your efforts and see what you could have done better. So what if they say no the first time? What is the worst that will happen? You retaliate and work harder show them more proof of your effort and come back and ask again.
Learn from failure no matter what failure it is, it isn’t an attack against yourself and your personality it is a momentary mishap that can be converted into success.
BE SMART ABOUT THE INFORMATION YOU ARE GIVING
Look at this salary hunt as a game and understand that it is in their interest to save money and it is in your interest to earn as much. So there will be a time where they will offer you a lower salary than you wish, but please remember that all negotiations are about seeing which situation suits both sides most.
So if you are asked about your salary requirements, be smart and say you are open to discussion based on what the job requirements are and what they are expecting from you on this new position or for you to be doing once you have a higher salary. This will give you enough time to think about the salary once you hear everything they have in mind.
Also, be smart about the information you give them. This doesn’t mean lie on your resume or lie to them in this negotiation. This actually means you don’t have to give them a specific number. Since the market salaries will also range it is alright to give them a range that is acceptable to you if you are applying for a new job. On the other hand, if you are there to get a raise, have in mind that experts advise that it is better to have a specific number in mind rather than rounding it up. This is due to presenting the case as if you have done extensive research and you know exactly how much your position is worth. Also remember that telling them your financial needs might not be the best thing to do at this point.
And as any game once you see the first offer you are not in need of accepting it or denying it. A simple ¨I will think about it¨ might get you an increase in that salary but it might also leave you without one. So it is safe to say that if you are in dire need of a job, it is okay to take the offer and go back in the negotiation after you have done your research and learned all the ropes of the job.
Now, this is the endgame. You have picked the perfect timing, you made a spreadsheet to help your presentation maybe, you practiced and this is your time to give out your pitch fully and present your case. Once you have done research, prepared yourself, got to know how the job works, told him or her why you are the one who should get this raise in an assertive way, it is up to them to decide so give them the time to do so if they need it, otherwise you are good to go!