If you’re like most people, you’re not very comfortable with the thought that you might have to negotiate your salary. However, there’s nothing wrong in knowing your worth. And since it’s likely that you’re going to go through it at some point, here are four things that will make the process easier.
1. Be assertive, not aggressive
Assertiveness implies discussing the matter in a persuasive manner, but while listening to the other party’s arguments. Don’t be afraid to ask for a raise, but don’t demand a raise. Bring arguments to the table. Try to find out how much other people working in similar positions are making working for other companies. Discuss your performance and how that helped the firm. Make your employer understand that this would make you more motivated, more productive, and that this will help the company along the way.
2. Don’t focus just on money
A renegotiation of the contract can include, beside money, other benefits as well. Better dental or health plans, performance bonuses, more vacation days, professional development opportunities, as well as other benefits, are all things you can suggest in order to help your employer find a solution that will satisfy both you and him. Choose the things that matter most to you. Be realistic in your expectations, and be prepared to not get everything you ask for.
3. Think your alternatives through
Your employer might not be interested in negotiating, and either refuse you outright or ask you to wait for a few more months. He can give you a reason, or he might not. This is a risk you have to take, because the potential gains heavily outweigh it. However, you need to decide what you’re going to do if that happens. Devise an action plan you are comfortable with.
Negotiation skills are developed through practice. Either practice for a salary negotiation with a career planner or, if you’ve already negotiated your salary in the past, think of what went well and what you need to improve for the next time.
In conclusion, salary negotiation is all about confidence, knowing your worth, and determination. And as long as you remember that, you can’t fail.