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Negotiate your way to a better salary

Mathew J Maniyamkott
9th Feb 2017
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The ones who ask for a raise are the ones who usually deserve it because it requires faith in one’s work and confidence in oneself to pop that important question. There are workaholics in every organisation who do the bulk of the work, act as unofficial leaders, have a lot of projects riding on them, but do not have the courage to ask for a raise, even a well-deserved one. It doesn’t have to be as scary as it feels to walk up to your boss and say those four words – “I need a raise.” If you follow the tips described below, asking for a raise might not feel that intimidating:

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Know your worth

Recall the number of times you have brought your company out of turmoil, all the times you exceeded the expectations of your boss. For someone similar with your experience and knowledge, how much do other employers pay? Consult with your friends who have a similar experience. Check on sites like Glassdoor that give you a number on the salaries of various companies. When you walk into your boss’s office to ask for a raise, you need to have a number in mind or at least be sure about what you want. Otherwise, you are at the mercy of someone who has oodles of experience to power the negotiation process. If you have special skills or training that are in much demand and short in supply, then remember that you are gold.

Practice your negotiation skills

When you have your mind set on negotiating your salary, confide to someone in your closest circle. Practise your negotiation pitch with them. Ask them to act like the employer and ask questions that your prospective employer might. Make them put you in an uncomfortable position by being rigid on your wants. Be ready with your various responses when you get a no. Remember, if you can’t convince a hypothetical boss to give you a raise, you might not be able to convince the real one.

Your talking points should be your performance

Probably the only reason why your employer would want even to consider your request for a salary negotiation is your performance well. Take a list of all your achievements along with the goals that were expected from you. When you negotiate, they will understand what they will miss out on if they had to replace you. When you show them how you’ve come up good when faced with tasks that required mental clarity and technical knowledge, it will help them to ratify your requests.

Remember that it is ‘We’ and not ‘You vs them’

Thinking of the salary negotiation process as a win-lose situation will only make you go on the defensive. Be prepared if your employer is not able to match up to your expectations. If you face such a situation, offer to provide more value or offer something else for free, but be assertive and stay fixed on your expectation. Remember that your employer wants you as much as you need them. They will be more than happy to pay you a number that they deem worth. Use terms such as ‘we’ and ‘us’ to create an amiable atmosphere.

Remain professional even if it doesn’t go your way

When you enter the room where the negotiation is to happen, make sure you have left your ego outside. You do not want to get angry at your employer for not agreeing to your terms. That is not only immature, you might even get fired for showing dissent in an inappropriate way. Do not compare your co-worker’s salary with yours. Showcase to the person on the other side on how your services to the company deserve a bigger paycheck. Do not resort to any threat or show arrogance during your dealing with the boss.

In life, as in all matters, even on negotiating a better salary for yourself, you have to set the ball rolling. We know that it is a tough thing to do, but imagine, a few minutes inside a cabin with your boss might be an increase of one or two lakh rupees for a year. If it doesn’t work the first time you do it, go back to the grind, work hard, come back after six months again to show where you have improved and negotiate again. Never give up.

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