We get it – it’s never fun to negotiate a salary.
But pay negotiation is so key to landing that higher salary gig. Whether you’re applying for a new job, or trying to get a raise at your current place of employment, pay negotiation is a big deal. You could potentially be leaving money on the table if you don’t at least try to negotiate.
In fact, according to a study completed by staffing agency Robert Half, only 30 percent of people admit to negotiating the starting salary at their new job. To break it down even further, 46 percent of men negotiated versus just 34 percent of women.
Fortunately, with a few tips, a lot of preparation, and some practice, you can fearlessly negotiate your way into a higher paying job. Here’s what you need to do.
List your achievements
Who says you can’t brag about yourself? Now is the time to speak up to the value you are providing.
No one will advocate for you more than you, so be sure to bring a list of all of your accomplishments to your negotiation meeting. Focus on the facts – where have you saved the company money? What major projects have you led? What processes have you improved?
By focusing on the facts, you are really helping yourself in two different ways. One, you are reminding your higher-up of how much value you provide the company. Second, you can take some of the stress off of yourself. The conversation does not have to be about why you want a raise, but rather why you deserve one based on the value you provide to the organization. The more specific you can be, the better.
Do your homework
What’s a realistic salary goal to shoot for? The worst thing you can possibly do in this situation is not have a realistic salary number in mind.
Not sure how to come up with “your number?” Research it!
Websites like Glassdoor and Payscale will give you a general idea as to how much a job is worth in your field and geographic location. Better yet, get ahold of some researched salary data through more specific sources. Staffing agencies, such as Randstad, publish well-vetted salary data every year. Each job salary range is published specific to the number of years of experience and geography of the job. That way, you can find the most accurate information available.
Don’t second guess
Now that you have your salary request, stick to it. So often, during the period when it matters most, many people suddenly feel like they are asking for too much money. In turn, they request a smaller raise and become angry with themselves later.
The best way to ensure you don’t shoot yourself in the foot is to rehearse. Sure, it may seem silly, but rehearsing to yourself and with other people is the only way to ensure the conversation goes smoothly. Don’t back down, and don’t second-guess yourself. Remember, you did all of your homework, and you’re worth this salary!
When it comes time for the actual pay negotiation discussion, don’t beat around the bush. Stick to the facts, be firm, and be direct.
Think of what you want the response to be to this conversation. Do you want the decision makers to be absolutely certain they have to hire or promote you, no matter the cost? Or do you want them to be confused and unsure as to what you are really asking for?
Again, this is where rehearsal really comes into play. Practice, practice, and practice some more until you are confident you can convey exactly what you want. Remember, this is too important of a conversation to worry about how you might make the other person feel – so long as you are polite, factual, and direct, there is nothing they can argue against.
Confidence is key
Lastly, speak with confidence. Know that it’s always okay to ask about pay. The worst thing that can happen is they will say no. In that case, maybe it’s time for you to reevaluate whether this is the job for you.
Remember, you did all of the research and took adequate time to prepare for this meeting. With all of your resources, you may just be surprised at how willing your employer is to listen. So go forth confidently, and good luck!