8 Top Tips to Negotiate the Pay Rise You Deserve
No matter how well you’re performing at work, it’s always daunting to ask for that pay rise. But there comes a point in every man’s career where he’s got to lay down the law, bite the bullet, throw down the gauntlet… er, you get our drift. Confronting the big boss and asking for more money can make even the most seasoned businessman uneasy and is something you may never feel 100% comfortable with. But these tips from international negotiator Derek Arden (who wrote the book Win Win: How to Get a Winning Result from Persuasive Negotiations) should – at the very least – give you the confidence that you’ve done everything you can to get the answer you want.
1 – Timing is important
It is best to approach the issue when things are going well, and well before the annual pay reviews. It pays to soften people up informally. Drop something into the conversation over a coffee, when you are travelling with the boss, and subtly make them aware that you need a bit more money.
2 – Because you’re worth it
It might sound obvious, but do a fantastic job all year. If you’re seen to do more than is required of you and you volunteer for the things that others shy away from it will get noticed. Make sure you come across as someone who deserves to be paid more, being punctual, smart, and not the first to leave the office and the boss will soon see you as someone they are proud to have in the business and don’t want to lose.
3 – Keep the evidence
Keep a record of all the things you do throughout the year, particularly the big and small things that contributed to the success of others. If you have trained people, organised presentations or implemented a new system, these are the things that often don’t get noticed, but when it comes to appraisal or bonus time you can show the value you add to the business.
4 – Provide a summary report
A summary of your achievements for the year is a powerful tool at salary review time, so prepare one three weeks before your appraisal. Call it something non-threatening to the recipient for example “Position report” to soften up the situation and make a positive statement about your achievements rather than moaning that you do too much.
5 – Consider your options
Compare the job market for someone of your skills and find out what similar roles pay. Job boards and recruitment websites can be a good place to start, but there are also some good salary benchmarking websites. Remember, the type of company and industry influences what pay will be for roles, so pay for the same role in a public sector or not-for-profit could be vastly different to private companies.
6 – The extras make a difference
Many people focus solely on salary, but don’t forget that company benefits such as holiday allowance, training courses, bonuses and flexible working can make a big difference to your quality of life and what you get out of your job.
7 – Your reaction to the offer matters
When a new salary figure is offered (or even if it is not) you have three options:
A – Accept it. In this case, it is a good idea to thank the people that made it happen verbally and in writing for their support for the sake of your long-term prospects.
B – Flinch gently and say, “Oh, I was expecting a little more.”
C – Let them know how disappointed you are with their offer.
Of course, whichever reaction you choose depends a lot on your long term strategy, your relationships within the business and what your possible plans and options are. Whatever the plan though, it pays to follow step 8 below.
8 – Keep in touch with key influencers and keep details up to date
Update your CV and LinkedIn profile regularly – You are ultimately in charge of your own career, so make sure your details reflect what you are doing day to day, the extras you work on and what your qualifications are. In today’s connected world you need to show yourself in the best light at all times.
Keep in touch with recruitment consultants and headhunters – The law of requisite variety says the more options you have, the more advantage you will have. This is true of any type of negotiating, but particularly salary negotiations. Don’t be afraid to talk to recruiters, network with them but make sure you always stay in control. You are their product, so don’t let them hassle you and put you in a position you’re not comfortable with.
Derek Arden is an international negotiator, a conference speaker and author of Win Win: How to Get a Winning Result from Persuasive Negotiations, published by Pearson on 16 July 2015. See www.Derekarden.co.uk or follow him on twitter: @derekarden.