Negotiating for a higher salary, whether you've been on the job for some time or are still interviewing, is never easy. On one hand, discussing money can make you feel uncomfortable. On the other hand, you don't want to be taken for granted or look like a pushover. Asking for what you feel you are worth, no matter how challenging, is absolutely necessary. Here are some tips on how to negotiate a higher salary.
First, schedule a meeting with your superior. Surprising your boss with a request for a higher salary is not the way to go. Instead, set up a meeting with her to talk about your expectations. Scheduling a specific time and place for salary negotiation gives both you and your boss time to prepare and helps minimize the potential stress of the situation.
During the meeting, focus on what you can do for the company in the future, not what you've already done. Although it's fine to mention your past successes, the overall focus of the meeting should be about your potential to do even more for the company. Discuss your strengths and abilities and how you can utilize them to become more valuable. Career coach Malcolm Munro advises hitting on at least one of these three key points: You build or maintain relationships, you are an effective problem-solver, and you save the company money. These are great ways to demonstrate your value and to show you deserve a higher salary.
Whatever you do, never discuss your personal financial situation as part of your salary negotiation. Putting your child through college and catching up on bills are not good reasons to request a higher salary, and mentioning them will make you look unprofessional.
Consider more than just cash. Depending on your industry and the company you work for, you may be entitled to other perks besides a higher salary, such as more vacation days, a better benefits package or opportunities to work from home. A more impressive title may also be an option.
Lastly, be reasonable in your expectations. Understand that sometimes it just isn't an ideal time for your company to grant higher salaries, even to deserving employees. If the response you receive is "no," or if the salary you are offered is less than you hoped, don't take it personally. That "no" is not necessarily permanent. Ask your boss when would be a good time to revisit the issue, and don't forget to follow up. In the meantime, continue to do great work.
No matter what happens, remain confident in yourself. Negotiating a higher salary is not only an opportunity to get more money in your pocket, it's also your chance to sell yourself to your company and to remind your superiors of what a valuable employee you are.
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