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This week, we look at how to negotiate a raise with your boss, things you can do to prepare for the meeting, so you can finally get paid what you’re worth.
Do you feel a little undervalued at work? Perhaps you feel like you deserve more for the work you do? Or, as is often the case, you know you could get paid more at another company but don’t want to leave?
If so, it might be time to try and negotiate a raise with your boss. But, because we know how difficult those situations can be, we’ve put together this guide that breaks how to negotiate a raise into three steps that are crucial for a successful meeting: the preparation, the initial conversation and the negotiation.
How to Negotiate a Raise, Stage One: Preparation
If there’s one piece of advice we’d give when it comes to how to negotiate a raise, it’s this: prepare for the questions you might be asked. Have an answer to every objection and be ready to defend your request with cold, hard facts that make it hard to deny.
Here’s where to start:
Research and decide the figure you want to be paid: now, you might have heard to wait for your boss to suggest a number so that you don’t go too high or too low. (Too high and you scare them off, too low and they snap it up and you leave money on the table.)
However, the power move is to know your worth and ask for it, exactly. You don’t want to ask for £25,000 or £24,00, but £24,297 or £24,895.
Why? Well, research from Columbia Business School shows that using exact figures implies that you’ve done your homework and understand your worth, improving your bargaining power and preventing them from trying to low-ball you.
To do this means working out the average salary for people in your position with your experience and your track record and deciding your new salary accordingly. This is your worth on the job market, so to a company that you know inside out, it should be a fair compensation for your input.
Alternatively, decide on a salary range:
The same study also found that if you give a range of exact figures, you could improve your chances even more.
As it says in the study: “context is important. A precise number could say that “you have done your homework. But if it seems important for you to appear flexible, then you could signal that by offering a range.”
Know your worth: write down a list of everything you do for the company, especially the stuff that’s over and above your job description. Make sure you note everything you’ve achieved, the good you do for the company and what the company would be missing if you left. Read this list over and over until you know it off by heart.
How to Negotiate a Raise, Stage Two: The Conversation
Ah, now we get to the trickier part. However, if you’ve done your homework, it shouldn’t be that tricky. Just keep your cool, hold your nerve and you’ll be fine.
(Don’t worry, we’re going to give you a few more tips…)
Make a connection
While you are going in to ask for a raise, don’t forget that your boss is human. As such, a very rational explanation as to why you need a raise may not be enough to see it through.
Instead, statistics show that if you make a connection — by talking about your boss and yourself — then you’re almost 50% more likely to get the raise than if you lead with just the facts.
Note: just make sure you don’t come across as desperate.
Tie your request to the company’s objectives.
We’ve already discussed the two parts to this: knowing your worth and decide how much you want to be paid. Now it’s time to put them into action.
To have a really successful salary negotiation, use the specific figure technique (or the specific range technique) that shows you did your homework alongside how you can help the company and the things you already do for the company.
Even better, if you can, tie your raise to an ongoing concern within the business: “with a raise, I’d be willing to take on more responsibility for X, which will help us achieve Y goal much quicker”, for example.
Pairing the exact figure which demonstrates you know your worth with this incentive that you’ll help them achieve some goals puts you on great footing to secure your raise.
How to Negotiate a Raise, Stage Three: after you’ve made your case
Once you’ve made your case, let them think about the offer. Don’t feel the need to add more to try and strengthen your position — just remain as quiet as possible. Adding more to your argument makes you seem unsure, staying silent is a sign of quiet confidence, in this case, quite literally.
When they give you a decision
If they make a counter offer that you’re unhappy with, don’t get irritated. Just say ‘thank you. May I take some time to think about it?’, shake their hands and leave.
Then you have to consider, can you counter offer? Are you happy to take the extra money, even if it’s not what you hoped for? Or is it time to look for new opportunities?
If they accept your new salary, shake their hands, thank them for their time and assure them that they’ve made the right decision. Leave the office calmly, find a quiet spot and do a little victory dance.
Wherever you are in your career and whatever field you’re in, the Hays blog has a tonne of great advice about interviews, negotiations and progressions. Take a little look around and check out!
And if you still feel like you aren’t ready for a raise but would like to make some extra cash, click here for some great ideas on side hustles to boast your monthly income!
- Author The Bamboo Team
- Posted 28 May 2019