How To Get The Salary You Deserve

There are hundreds of strategies people use during salary negotiation. If you take a minute and google ‘Salary Negotiations’, thousands of articles and pieces of advice will show up giving you more knowledge then you could ever ask for. Once of the major stresses I hear from my candidate and clients is that there are so many different strategies for negotiating, they get overwhelmed and don’t know where to start.

In a survey by Salary.com, only 37% of people always negotiate their salary. The main reason they state for not negotiating? The answer: fear and lack of skills. So today we bring you an easy to follow, step by step guide to salary negotiation:

Timing is key:

Many people think salary negotiation has to happen during an annual review. This is not the case. Say you started a job in July, and have an annual review in December (with the rest of the company) then this may mean you aren’t eligible for a raise. The best time to schedule a negotiation meeting is after a big win at work. Have a massive project coming up that you are owning? A week or two after the deliverable is a perfect time to schedule your meeting.

Also, get a feeling for your boss’s workload. We may all like to think that a good or bad mood won’t impair our ability to make a decision, but we are all human, and it is better to err on the side of caution. Schedule a meeting for when their plate is lighter which usually means less stress and they are in a better mood.

Do your research:

When it comes down to finding out how big of a raise to ask for, there are a few tried and true statistics to include in your negotiation. Do a bit of research and understand what the current market rate is for your job function, responsibilities, years of experience and location. A great negotiation tactic is to ask for your salary to be brought up to market rate. Be sure to have the documentation and research ready to present to make your negotiation even stronger. A few great resources to help get you started on your search are glassdoor.com and salary.com.

Make it about your skills, not what you think you deserve:

Telling your boss you deserve a raise or that you need more money to live are not great reasons to get a raise. Yes, they are entirely valid but, they do not equate to your company paying you more for the job you are already doing. A much stronger argument is making it about your skills that you have developed over the last year, your investment in the company, and the value you are bringing to your team. Have you been bringing your company high-quality clients? Are you closing sales at an exceptional rate? Are you helping to get projects done?   Have you been working above and beyond your typical duties? Having this type of data gives you leverage to ask for more money. It also gives you a chance to show you are investing in the company, and a raise would show the company is also investing in you.

Make your company give a number or percentage first:

There will typically be a point in the conversation when your manager says “OK, so how much of a raise do you want?” Your manager wants you to give the first hard number. It is imperative NOT to give them a number and instead say “With all the information I have given you, what do you think a fair amount would be?” If you give a number first, then the company is going to negotiate down. If the company gives the number first, then you have the power to negotiate up.

Once the company gives you a number, it is important to negotiate up at a higher rate than you expect to get. The reason being? The company is not going just to say “Yes, great!” they will always try and negotiate down as much as possible. A good rule of thumb is asking for 25-50% more than the number you would like to land on. As an example, if you want a $10,000 raise, ask for $12,500-$15,000 with the expectation that the company will negotiate down.

If you don’t get the salary increase you want, negotiate for non-monetary compensation:

You did all of your research, you had an excellent negotiation, but it just didn’t work out for you to receive the raise you wanted, don’t fret! There are many non-monetary items you can negotiation for:
<ul>
<li>Additional benefits (401K matching, better health insurance, etc.)</li>
<li>Additional PTO or mental health days</li>
<li>Working from home 1-2 days a week</li>
<li>Job title change (if you’re a Supervisor request a Manager title)</li>
</ul>
Have you successfully navigated a salary negotiation? Share your experience with us, we would love to hear from you!