Negotiating Your Worth

salary-scale.jpgNegotiating a salary increase can be a sensitive subject for many. We may want or even need more money, but I don’t know anyone who gets eager about having to ask for it. Not speaking up for yourself could cause regrets, so take that risk and ask for a raise, the worst thing that could happen is that you can get “no” as an answer.

Remember that you are negotiating a salary increase, not demanding one. So before you go in guns blazing, consider asking yourself “what value do I add to the company?". Some companies may feel that it's easier and cheaper to replace you than to give you a pay raise. You need to point out exactly what value you add to the organization. A good time to start the discussion with your boss would be after a period that you have consistently delivered excellent results. Highlight any latest skills and experience to show you have grown in the role.

Use these two key points to guide you into your deal.

1. Think about future potential and not past performance
From a company’s perspective, the only reason to be paid more is because you will deliver more in the future. If you’re asking for a pay raise, don’t make it about how hard you’ve worked in the past, your personal situation (new house payment etc.) or comparing what others are getting paid in your position. Talk instead about what you can do, and what your plans are for the future that will benefit the company.

2. Be prepared for a “no”
As long as you ask in a non-offensive manner, and at a good time, the worst you can hear is “no.” Be prepared for it, and don’t wear your heart on your sleeve. Remember that a “no” isn’t forever. Ask when would be a good time to re-examine the issue, and follow up. A “no” now can be a concrete “yes” later. And you will have laid an important foundation for future salary negations.

Mistakes to avoid when negotiating a raise

Don’t give an ultimatum
Never threaten your manager with another offer or a ‘take-it-or-leave-it’ attitude. Don’t put your boss on the defensive, put her at ease. You may want a raise, but it’s also about the contribution you make to the company. Treat the negotiation as a conversation in which you are interested in hearing about her thoughts. Understanding the companies wants and needs will give you the edge in any negotiation.

Negations takes time
The most important to remember is to be patient in your negations. Discussions about a raise will not necessarily be concluded in one meeting. Be prepared that your company might not be in a positions right this minute, but by starting this conversation for the negations you are ensuring your boss what your value to the company is. Who knows, you might get to run the next big project for your company.
Don’t think about, hope for or plan on getting the raise. Focus instead on what you can control, like your behavior during the negotiation? If you are focused on getting your employer to say yes to your raise, then you are not focused on what she’s saying to you in that moment.

Being calm, staying in the moment, controlling your emotions, asking pointed questions and listening carefully to your boss’s responses will help you stay focused on what you can control in any negotiation your behavior and actions. The above tips will help you avoid the worst mistakes most amateur negotiators make, and you will be more likely to get the best possible deal in your next negotiation.

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