We know, we know. Negotiating your salary can be intimidating. Between the nerves and the feelings of imposter-syndrome, it’s not uncommon for people who want (and probably deserve) raises to avoid asking for them. According to a survey, 59% of American workers said they get apprehensive when it comes to negotiating their salary, with an overwhelming 43% noting a fear of rejection.
Unfortunately, despite this fear, it’s important and even necessary to learn to advocate for yourself and ask for what you deserve. It’s unlikely that anyone is going to hand over a raise that you didn’t ask for, so sit back and take notes on how you can prepare for salary negotiations.
- Collect your thoughts
A powerful first step in preparing to ask for a raise is taking the time to organize your thoughts and think through what you plan to say. Something as important as asking your employer for more money shouldn’t be based on impulse. Write down what you hope to accomplish during your meeting with your employer, what questions you’ll ask, and your responses to tentative questions that might be asked of you. You could even rehearse in a mirror or with a friend or family member to feel extra prepared.
- Know your worth
Knowing and understanding your worth is important for two main reasons. Number one, it’s crucial to know precisely what value your work brings to your company so that you are better able to negotiate. Look at sites such as Glassdoor to gain a good understanding of what other professionals with similar responsibilities are making. Secondly, it’s important to understand that you and your talents are worthy of fair compensation. Don’t undersell yourself.
- Be willing to walk away
It can be really difficult to walk away from a job, especially coming off of a year like 2020, but it’s imperative to value yourself, your work and your time enough to draw the line if an offer is too low. You can decide that number for yourself, and it can be based on anything from market value to the level of your financial need, but have it in the back of your mind before you go into discussions.
- Have a specific number in mind
On the flip side, you should also go into your meeting with a specific number in mind of how much you will ask for. When deciding on a number, you should ask for more than you actually want or expect so that you have some room to negotiate. Additionally, you should avoid mentioning a range. For example, if you say something along the lines of, “I’m looking for between 70K and 80K,” your boss or the hiring manager will immediately go for the lower number, as you’ve just set yourself up to settle. A final tip is to ask for a very specific number, for example, $76,500. According to a study, “precise numerical expressions imply a greater level of knowledge than round expressions and are therefore assumed by recipients to be more informative of the true value of the good being negotiated.” In other words, you’re more likely to look like you know what you’re talking about and you’ve done your research.
- Mention market value
It’s important that, before asking for a raise or beginning to negotiate your salary, you do your due diligence and take some time to research the market value of your position. How much are other people in your field, position and location making? Look at your experience, skills, designations and certifications, education level, geographical location, etc., to help determine you value, and ultimately, your specific ask number.
- Plan your timing
When asking for a raise, be thoughtful about when you will bring it up to your boss. Instead of waiting for performance review time like most people, consider bringing it up earlier. Not only will they then have it in their mind prior to a performance review, but they’ll also realize that you mean business.
- Stay strong and be confident
Attitude is everything. Going back to tip #2, know your value and don’t underestimate your worth. Go into your meeting feeling prepared and strong. Carry yourself with confidence, hold your head high, smile and channel positivity as you begin negotiations.
Are you considering asking for a raise? Is the anxiety of rejection holding you back? At The Humphreys Group, we understand how difficult it can be to advocate for yourself, but know that we’re rooting for you. If you’d like to continue the conversation about fair compensation, reach out to our team.