Negotiations are a tricky part of life. Do it right and you achieve safe release of any hostages, do it wrong and a supervillain blows them all sky-high – but they’re no picnic in the office either. You and your manager aren’t always gonna see eye-to-eye, so going head-to-head with them is all the more nerve-wracking. And that’s all before you even add salary to the mix.
Remuneration is an important topic in the work place, and if you feel you should get more for what you’re doing, it’s important that you’re able to talk about it. Negotiating the salary you deserve needn’t be a difficult time either. Just keep these things in mind and you’ll dramatically grow your chances of success.
Do your homework
Don’t go in blind. Remember, knowledge is power. You’re probably not the only person in the world to have your job title, so have a look around. Check sites like Glassdoor and talk to friends with similar jobs to get a feel for what the standard pay is and how much you can ask for. Note: make sure to get data for a diverse cross-section of society, i.e. male and female, different races and ages, lest you fall afoul of any pay gaps.
Time it well
Good things come to those who wait, and sometimes the timing for a pay rise won’t be as perfect as you hope. A good time might be after a particularly profitable quarter, a new wave of investment or a good time for your industry as a whole. Alternatively, you can make your own opportunity by going above and beyond and working at a high level for a long time. It may take a while but once you’ve proved your worth, no-one can deny you.
Support your claim with data
Your word against your manager’s word isn’t really enough to get the job done. You need to come correct with quantifiable statistics that express your contribution to the company. Track everything you do in the weeks leading up to your negotiation meeting and make sure you bring up the stuff that makes you eligible for a payrise.
Be the first to throw a number out
This part is all psychological. Take the initiative and use your research to show that you know what you want. Being the first to quote a figure puts you in an advantageous position when it comes to negotiating since you’ve chosen the starting point. As you’d expect, your manager will likely counter with a lower offer before you settle somewhere in the middle, so start higher than you aim to end up.
Remember it’s not all about the money
You need to also consider being flexible if it’s not possible that your demands will be met. Say you can only get a £2,000 instead of the £4,000 you wanted. Maybe you could get some more flexible hours or a bit more holiday to compensate? Salary negotiations need not revolve around a paycheck – there’s plenty else you could ask for in the interim.
Don’t be afraid of ‘no’
You’re going to hear the word ‘no’ a lot during negotiations. That’s okay though. Negotiations can’t start in earnest until someone says ‘no’. ‘No’ begins the process in which you work your way to a solution that fits both you and the company. And no ‘no’ is permanent in this situation.
Above all, patience is the key. You might not come to a solution right away or negotiations might come to a standstill. But don’t worry, this doesn’t mean a pay rise is entirely off the cards. Your manager just might want to see a little bit more from you or perhaps the timing is off. Either way, keep killing it, be persistent and don’t get frustrated. It’s gonna happen.