3 Negotiating Techniques to Ask for a Raise
Asking for a higher income is never easy. We may want or even need more money, but asking for it is another matter. How do we navigate this awkward process with ease?
Negotiating a salary is the art of treading on delicate ground. On the one hand, we’ve been raised to believe that talking about money is impolite. The topic can come off as self-serving if we bring it up while the company is in financial trouble. On the other hand, not asking for a pay raise can send the message that we’re expendable. Here’s what experts say.
Think of Why You Deserve It
The hallmark of a good manager is knowing when to reward a job well done. If your salary has been stagnant for a while, think of reasons why you deserve a bump. Kathleen McGinn, professor of business administration at Harvard Business School, says reflection is an essential first step in negotiations. Think about why your boss should grant your request for a raise, and align management’s interest with your own case. This makes it easier to proceed to the next step.
You would never come into a presentation under-prepared, and a salary negotiation is arguably one of the most directly impactful presentations you’ll ever make. Gather two types of evidence for the presentation.
First, facts about your unique contributions to the company. How have you saved the company money? What are your most successful projects? Do you have any positive customer testimonials? Have you received praise from management? If your department oversees several components, your manager might not be aware of the positive feedback concerning you.
Second, gather information about company or industry-wide salaries. Doing your due diligence with research may help you establish your case.
Wait for the Right Moment
Timing is crucial. Most employees choose to make their pitch at their annual review, but your manager might be overwhelmed with requests. Instead, time it to coincide with changes in your job description. McGinn suggests asking for a raise after receiving new responsibilities, or after successfully overseeing a project that’s well received by customers or management. Your boss is more likely to grant your request when your success is fresh in his or her mind.
As with all presentations, practice is key. Rehearse your pitch, be confident, and let your accomplishments do the rest. If the answer is no, ask what else you can do to make yourself more valuable. Such initiative shows a commitment to your job and to the company’s success. If there’s nothing you can do to convince management and you’re still unhappy with your compensation, it might be time to look for other opportunities.