As the saying goes: success is 1 percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration. But it’s not enough to be hardworking. You also need to receive the salary you deserve. And to get that salary, you need to learn to negotiate.
But first, a story about getting promoted to the position (and the salary) you deserve.
Tessa Gets A Promotion
Tessa has already been in a business process outsourcing company for more than seven years. When she joined the business as a recruitment assistant, there were only 50 people in the company. Almost ten years after, they’ve grown to 300 heads strong.
During this time, Tessa has climbed the ranks to become the human resource manager. Now, she’s in the running to become the operations manager.
Tessa knew that the job of an operations manager would be much harder than her previous role. It would be tiring, stressful, and full of people problems. But she loved the challenge and understood the risks.
There’s only one thing she wants to go with the new position. She’s wants a higher salary than her predecessor, Tony. She believes she has more experience and better operational skills than him.
But Tessa doesn’t have any experience in negotiating salary. This lack of confidence could threaten her chances of getting the salary she wants.
The Truth About Salary Negotiations
Tessa is not alone. Salary negotiations are difficult, intimidating, and sometimes embarrassing. One US survey of 800 employees showed that only 31 percent of them negotiated their salaries.
Women, meanwhile, fare worse when it comes to negotiations. They’re less likely to discuss pay with their bosses. If they do, they tend to ask less money than their male counterparts.
Why is it so challenging to negotiate?
It’s simple: you don’t know how to do it! That’s why you don’t feel confident once you’re at the negotiation table.
6 Tips For Negotiating Your Salary
Are you like Tessa? Do you feel you’re at the losing end when someone gives you a raise or a salary offer? Well, here are a few salary negotiation tips to help you out:
- Benchmark Your Pay.
Consider salary negotiation a championship game you need to win. To win, you should prepare by using a process called benchmarking.
Find the “pay norm” of your job in the industry. Ask yourself, “How much are other companies paying people like me?” You can go to salary comparison websites like Payscale Philippines to get the numbers you need.
This information will then help you decide the lowest and the highest salary you want to receive. The highest amount is usually 10 percent to 15 percent of the least amount. Now it becomes easier for you to present an offer that makes both parties happy.
But remember that it’s rare for employees to receive salaries beyond the “norm.” You need to have exceptional talent as leverage for a higher increase. Thus, level your expectations and learn to compromise.
- Don’t Make the First Move.
Rather, let the employer make the initial job offer. In fact, Etiquette Principles founder Liz Taylor suggests to wait until you’re hired. This gives you more negotiating power since it means the company wants you to be there.
You can also use this technique if you’d want a pay raise after every good performance review. You’re more likely to succeed if your boss thinks you deserve the better pay.
- Show Proof That You’re Worth It.
Want a better salary? Then make sure that you’re worth it. Come prepared during salary negotiations with all the relevant credentials. These include your education, experience, and special skills.
When you’re negotiating for pay raises, use information from your performance reviews. Present hard evidence such as company data, metrics, and peer recommendations.
Your goal is to make your offer so attractive your boss will have a hard time saying no.
- Don’t Force It.
After the salary negotiations, what should you do next? The best move is to wait. You’ve said your piece, and now it’s their turn.
The waiting part can be stressful, though. Sometimes it takes a few days or even weeks before you get a reply.
You can make one follow-up, but that’s about it. The last thing you want to do is to risk your chance of getting a pay raise because you’re such a pushover.
- Invest in Yourself.
While waiting, take the time to continue investing in your education and expertise. Enroll in classes and take on more challenging tasks. You can also learn new skills, network, or join industry organizations.
The more you do this, the more you make yourself valuable. If you increase your worth, you build a stronger case for yourself during salary negotiations. This also helps open more doors for better opportunities.
- Negotiate Even When the Economy’s Bad.
It’s definitely much easier to negotiate your salary when the business is doing well. You can even bring up the subject of pay when you know the company is going to exceed its annual targets.
What if it it’s the other way around though? In times like this, our basic instinct is to survive. You’d rather keep the job than to lose it because you’re asking for more.
But that attitude might not be the best for a salary increase. In fact, you can ask for a pay raise even if the economy is looking grim.
In the end, these negotiations are between you and another person, not the business or the rest of the world.
So, How Did Tessa Fare?
Tessa now has all the tools she needs to negotiate for a higher pay. She has the experience and skills she acquired through the years. She’s also been loyal, while the company is doing rather well. Tessa also now fully understands and appreciates her worth to the firm.
But she doesn’t stop there. To increase her chances of success, she did her research and made sure she had proof to back up her claims. Then she went in and asked for that increase.
And she got it! She received a very lucrative offer: a 10 percent salary bump, higher than what she was hoping for.
Be like Tessa. Use salary discussions as the right time to learn your worth in the business. What have you contributed? What can you still contribute?
Make it a win-win proposition for you and your boss, so everyone walks out with a smile on their faces.