25 Nov How to Negotiate a Higher Salary.
1. obtain or bring about by discussion.
“he negotiated a new contract with the sellers”
“he negotiated a new contract with the sellers”
2. find a way over or through (an obstacle or difficult route).
As commonplace as this word, a lot of us find ourselves between a rock and a hard place whenever we have to negotiate anything.
The only true way to look at negotiation is to view it as what it truly is – a conversation.
And if you possess certain skills that provide premium value at your organization, your salary should reflect this. If it doesn’t then you should be having this ‘conversation’, and here are tips on how best to do it.
Let’s get a few things out of the way before we truly get into this discourse.
A lot of us are driven by several different motives when it comes to our careers, but something we can all share is that when it’s all said and done, we intend to make money.
If we’re lucky we make a boatload of it, or at least just enough to live a decent life. If you work in a standard organization it is expected that as you continue to improve on your expertise, your annual income increases.
Although companies are supposed to have policies in place for this; in most African companies, we find that it isn’t the case. You will have to take the conversation to your superior or employer or you might find yourself in one financial spot for years.
You have to speak up!
Do Your Homework
We’ve established that negotiation is conversation and like any other conversation (that isn’t a complete waste of everyone’s time) you need to have your facts right – unless, it’s just pointless and a tad irritating.
Doing quality research is the only true way to ensure this.
You need to do extensive research on the industry
- how much other qualified professionals on your level are earning,
- industry best practices as regards finances, etc.
This will ensure you can back up your request with facts, you’re ready for any curveballs your boss might throw and its an overall confidence boost.
Don’t Ask Too Early
Not everyone can waltz in and ask for a raise and this has nothing to do just how long you’ve been at an organization. To confidently seek for a raise, you need to first be valuable to the company.
Firstly, your time at the office is a factor. If you’ve been there for just a couple of months you shouldn’t expect to earn as much as someone that has dedicated years to the company.
Also, factor in the skills and networks you’ve built over time and not just the role you hold in the organization.
Negotiation Hack: When you’ve built a value based argument try not to hastily give a number, your boss could have a higher number in mind.
Your Current Salary is Not a Base
A very common salary negotiation mistake we make is using our current salary as a base to build on.
Some people think, if I earn $45,000 annually I can work towards $50,000. Some people request their old salary and additional benefits or the fabled ‘13th month’. When negotiating your salary, argue based on the facts you’ve gathered from your research.
Negotiation Hack: You give yourself an edge when you keep a record of your achievements and how you have helped your organization reach their business goals. What sets you apart from your colleagues? How have you made things better for your superiors and your organization’s clients? Lay them all out and your employer is sure to see a reason to match your ask.
Know Your Precise Figure from Start
You shouldn’t go into your negotiation with a ‘rough estimate’ of what you’d like to earn.
You should have a specific number, a bottom line and a high number. This is simply to put things in perspective. When you do make your request, shoot for the highest number and prepare to be rejected.
There is a chance your high number will be accepted, but if it isn’t then you’d just have to negotiate.
The key is to prepare for rejection to help you weather the storm, press forward and secure the bag.
Be Ready to Explain Your Reasoning
When you open this conversation, you should be ready to explain why you believe you deserve to earn more. Don’t be scared to factor in all the extensive research you’ve done and personal reasons (if necessary).
This will show your boss that this request comes from a place of deep thought and not greed.
Practice, Practice, Practice
You don’t want to come off too eager or lacking in confidence when you have this conversation so you can practice with friends or family. If this person has experience with negotiating salaries, they could help you with pointers.
You could also seek out professional advice or do a mock negotiation with your mentor.
If you don’t have a mentor you could find one here.
THINGS NOT TO DO
You could be very prepared and still end up ruining your chances by saying the wrong things.
So here are some things you should steer clear off:
“My current salary is”, “I want more than that”, “I need more money because I have loans to pay”, “I hate to ask for more, but…”, “I am an important asset and I have to be paid…”, “ I currently have better offers I can leave”, and other cool stories.
The key is not come off disgruntled while explaining that you truly believe you offer great value and would love your earnings to reflect that.
These tips are guaranteed to get your boss thinking in your favour when you ask for a better salary.
And remember, my friends, you have to have been performing well to be taken seriously. You should also aim to be a likeable employee besides being good at your job. This helps endear you better to your superiors.