A New Year is beginning and you have taken a closer look at your finances and realize that you would like to approach your boss about a raise. Like most, your knees are shaking, you are unsure of the risks (cause let’s face it, some employers don’t like you asking) and you might actually like your job and the company you work for, but you need to make more money.
What can you do?
The answer, negotiate like a pro. Here are 5 tips to make your encounter less awkward.
1) Know the value you bring to your organization.
It is truly amazing how many people don’t know the financials around their contributions. Take a moment to document the value you have brought. This could be in terms of revenue share – perhaps you brought in a new client or sold additional services or in terms of an efficiency – perhaps you streamlined a process, reduced headcount for your department etc.. Think of how your work has impacted the company.
2) Know your worth.
Do you research. In a world where women often report that they don’t feel comfortable negotiating salary, this is where you can give yourself a leg up. Know what you are worth. What are similar positions paying at other organizations and tie that back to the value you bring. This research eliminates the gender wage gap and sets a baseline for your discussion.
3) Timing is everything.
As trivial as this sound, asking at the right moment has its benefits. Be sensitive to the timing of when you ask. What is happening at the organization that may impact this decision? For example, if the company just announced budget cuts due to a loss customer, it may be best to wait until the dust settles. It is never going to be a “perfect” time, but evaluate your options and shoot for time that you feel your request will be received openly.
4) Don’t accept the first offer – negotiate.
Go in with a specific plan. If you just ask for a raise and don’t give an amount, you are leaving a lot up for interpretation. If you know your worth and you know your value, you can create a strong position from which to negotiate. Be flexible and be creative. For example, let’s say that you want a $ 10,000 raise and all your research shows you should be at this level but your boss has brought up some good concerns. Negotiate a $ 5,000 raise now and another $ 5,000 in 3 months after you demonstrate your success regarding his concern. In other words, don’t settle – negotiate.
5) Always be professional, especially when it doesn’t work out in your favor.
Let’s face it. It may not go your way and for many reasons. But you never want to get angry or show hostility in any way. Always be professional and take the high road. If it doesn’t go in your favor, thank them for the consideration and ask if it would be okay to revisit in a few months. If you are a valued employee, they will appreciate the discussion and keep their eye on your performance. Good companies do right by good employees. Bottom line.