Negotiating a Salary 101

Negotiating your salary doesn’t have to be an awkward experience. Whether you’re just starting out in your career or looking to venture from your current role, having “the talk” with your employer is necessary in order to earn what you deserve. Read on, as we share our tips on how to ask for a raise with confidence and composure.

Do Your Homework

Before you schedule a meeting or make that phone call, make sure to do some competitive research and create a plan. Start by preparing a personal pitch of the reasons why you warrant a raise. Make sure to list out any specific work-related accomplishments, successful projects, unique skills or written evaluations from coworkers or supervisors who can vouch for you.

Next, it’s important to research what local competitor companies are paying employees in similar roles. If your employer is paying you significantly less than other companies that do similar work and require similar credentials, make note of that! Check out sites like Glassdoor, Indeed or PayScale to gather concrete facts and figures.

Lastly, try to stay informed on economic trends and salary forecasts so that you can narrow down the most opportune time to ask for a raise. When the economy is strong, experts say it’s appropriate to ask for a 10-20% increase of your current salary.

Start the Conversation

After you’ve conducted your research and rehearsed your pitch, it’s up to you bring that information to your boss’ attention. Set up a meeting and get straight to the point that you are here to negotiate your salary. Keep your tone positive, sell yourself and make a solid case right off the bat.

Don’t be the first to disclose a number. It’s recommended to wait for your employer to make the first offer so that you can respond with a respectable counter.

Don’t Get Discouraged

Don’t feel pressured to accept the first (or only) offer that your employer presents. In the end, if an agreement can’t be reached, it’s imperative that you keep a positive attitude. Consider asking your employer if they would be open to negotiating again in a few months.

As you continue to go above and beyond on projects, be sure to make a log that you can reference back to. Be sure to include any data possible. Any success you create or aid with, for the company, will add to your case as to why you deserve a raise.

If your boss still can’t be swayed, try a different approach. Try asking about receiving rewards in forms other than pay, such as increased vacation time or more flexible hours (if the company permits). Sometimes these benefits appear more negotiable to corporate leadership.

Remember to make the negotiation of your salary an ongoing conversation. Ask your employer to specifically outline steps you can take to earn a raise in the future and show that you are dedicated to the company and cause. Don’t forget, a noticeable change in salary won’t happen overnight.

Have you ever tried negotiating your salary? What is the best tip you can share?

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