How to negotiate a pay raise

Monique Ellis our consultant managing the role
Posting date: 01/08/2016

Money. We all need it and none of us seem to have enough of it. If you are confident in your performance in your current position and have put in the effort and time, it may be time to ask for a raise in salary. To successfully negotiate a pay raise in your organisation, you need to move forward with a plan. Below are five tips to successfully negotiate a pay raise.

Know your worth

Step one in any successful negotiation is research. In order to be able to accurately present your case, you need to be sure to know where you stand in the industry. If you have a LinkedIn profile, you more than likely have been contacted by recruiters. Speak to a recruiter and discuss your credentials with them, let them know your current salary and what you could expect at similar companies. Recruiters have a unique perspective on the industry and speak to a wide range of employers everyday. They also know what the market looks like for hiring. If you are in a niche industry like pharmaceuticals, seek an agency with your specialty. This way the agency will know the approximate cost of replacing your position and be able to assist in calculating a pharmaceutical salary. If the negotiation goes south, an agency can assist you in finding a new pharmaceutical job and will be able to provide pharmaceutical job advice.   

If you are in a competitive industry, you may have an even better shot at a pay increase. Let your supervisor know about the competitive landscape, giving them more reason to offer more money.

Have your accomplishments ready

Gathering your accomplishments within the company will take time, but it is very necessary before asking for any increase in salary.  Gather any past performance reviews, positive client feedback, deadlines reached or exceeded, and projects you’ve contributed to in a positive way. Having all the ways you have added value and made an impact to the company will help your case in multiple ways. First, it will let your supervisor know that this was not a spur of the moment decision. Compiling your talents and contributions shows that you have put effort into this negotiation and that this increase is important to you. Second, it will remind your supervisor of everything you have done to make yourself an asset to the company. Third, it will showcase your abilities and reinforce the fact that you are indispensable. Making a good case of your contributions and your performance could be the most compelling piece needed to get the raise you deserve. 

However, be careful during your presentation of your attribute. Do not gloat or brag. You want to make sure your materials are presented in a convincing manner. However, make sure that you express your love for the company and position, and provide actual examples of why.

Have a number in mind

Letting your supervisor come up with a number may leave you disappointed. According to Forbes Magazine, “people who make first offers get better terms that are closer to their target price.” While you are preparing for the negotiation, think about two numbers. First, consider a goal amount. This is the amount that you want to reach after you make your initial offer. Your initial offer should be a bit higher than your goal. Why is this so? In negotiations, your first ask is usually not your intended outcome. If you are looking for a $5,000 pay raise, you may want to start by asking for $7,500. This way, when your employer counteroffers, it will not be less than the $5,000 figure you are actually looking for.

In order to ask for an appropriate raise, you must refer to Tip #1 and know your industry worth. Picking a number without proper research could leave you at the same salary.

Leave your emotions at the door

Asking for a pay raise can be nerve wracking. If you are looking for a raise, most likely it’s because you think you deserve it. You put your heart and soul into your work and you want to see it reflected in your paycheck. Even so, being overly emotional while asking for a pay raise will do you no favours. If you let your emotions get in the way, whether they be resentment, anger or fear, you are going to reduce the likelihood of success.  Keep in mind, negotiations are business transactions and you should act accordingly. Make sure you schedule a meeting ahead of time and do not surprise your boss. You want to have a set a time when you know you will have their full attention.

A salary negotiation should not be given as an ultimatum. There is a possibility you will be denied or your increase will be delayed. Giving your employer a choice between a raise and you leaving, might burn a bridge and leave you without a job.

Practise makes perfect

Nothing is worse than rambling. If you are nervous, the best thing to do before your negotiation is to practise.  Present your facts to a business colleague or business savvy friend who can provide open and honest feedback. Make sure they are looking out for over emotional phrases or resentment. If you do not have someone trustworthy to provide feedback, practise in the mirror. This will allow you to see your facial expressions and monitor your eye contact. With any speech, practise helps to make the conversation more concise and therefore more effective. Pay increases can make our lives easier and increase our job satisfaction. However, these conversations are difficult to have. In order to be successful, you must be prepared, do your research, leave your emotions at the door and practice. Follow these steps and you are that much closer to more money in your pocket.

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