Often, workers find themselves working hard at a job where they end up taking on more and more responsibilities, yet their compensation is not increased. This can lead to resentment and an air of unproductiveness if it is not addressed. In other cases, people looking for employment might find the salary is not comparable with the skills required, and therefore they may look to a different company that either pays more, offers stock or other benefits, or that pays something comparable with less job related duties or requirements. If you’re looking for a new job or if you’ve decided it is time to discuss a salary increase at your current place of employment, there are definitely a few things to keep in mind before initiating salary negotiations. The process of negotiation is often initiated by the employee, which means you should be prepared before asking for a higher paying salary. Proper understanding of your career position or prospective career position as well as comparable salaries nationwide are vital to you having a chance at getting more money.
Preparing for Salary Negotiations
Before your negotiate your salary, it is a good idea to find out what the median, or average, salary is for the position you are applying for. If the starting salary seems much lower, it may be a good opportunity for you to try and negotiate something a bit higher. Use current labor statistics to explain why your salary should be higher than what the company is offering. If you’re already an employee, and you plan to ask for a higher pay rate, get a portfolio together of past projects you’ve worked on or spearheaded that were a success. Use this success as a building block for your case. It’s also a good idea to make a list of your current duties, and compare them to what the position actually requires. In many cases, people who have been working somewhere for a while tend to take on more duties while their pay rate stays stagnant. Point these extra duties out to your employer, and let them know you’ve been going above and beyond the call of duty.
Negotiating Your Salary
When it’s time to actually sit down and discuss salary negotiation, there are some important things to consider. Do not go into the meeting making demands or carrying a chip on your shoulder. Instead, stay professional and have a calm demeanor so no one feels as if they are being cornered. Keep in mind that a final decision may not be made right there on the spot, so do not feel completely discouraged if you do not get an answer right away. Have all of the materials you need to show proof of projects accomplished and any other items you wish to share. Include median salaries for your position and show the employer these statistics.
What Happens After?
In the end, the negotiation will go one of two ways: either you will receive a pay increase or you will not. No matter what the outcome, you should be prepared to deal with the results. In other words, before you even participate in salary negotiations, be prepared to get declined or just put off until a later time. It may not directly reflect on your work. In fact, in most cases the company may not be able to afford a salary increase at that time. Try not to show your disappointment too much, and do not let this reflect in your work or your attitude towards others. Remember by keeping that bridge available, you may have another chance to revisit the negotiation at a later time. If you do get a raise, be thankful and also let your boss know that you intend to continue working just as hard as you always have. This helps the employer feel good about their decision, and helps ensure that you will maintain your position.
For more information about salary negotiation as well as helpful tips, please refer to the following websites:
- Negotiating a Salary Package
- 10 Lessons to Prepare for the Salary Discussion
- Example of Average Wages by Occupation
- Negotiating Your Salary (PDF File)
- Salary Questions and Negotiating
- Tips and Advice on Negotiating Your Salary
- How to Research and Negotiate a Salary
- 12 Do’s and Don’ts for Negotiating a Salary in a Tough Economy
- Evaluating Job Offers and Negotiating Salary
- The Noel Smith-Wenkle Method
- Seven Smart Strategies for Negotiating Salary
- How to Negotiate Your Salary and Benefits – For Women
- Leave Space for Bargaining
- Getting Hired/Negotiating Salary
- Negotiating Salary and Other Aspects of the Job Offer
- Career One Stop
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