Have you got a salary negotiation with your boss coming up shortly? Salary negotiations can be nerve-wracking experiences. Regardless of your experience and length of time as an employee, salary negotiation meetings can be intimidating and awkward. Here are 5 tips to help you prepare for a salary negotiation.
1. Do your research in advance
Doing research before your salary negotiation you will help you feel more confident, positive and prepared for the discussion. Similar to the preparations for an interview, you should gather as much information as possible to inform your proposal. Start by doing some research into the salary range and find out what that is across your industry. Connect with colleagues and others in your wider network to source information on the salary range. This will help inform your salary expectations and will give you a realistic idea of the maximum you can ask for. Furthermore, it is important to know how your company is performing. Are they in a position to offer you a salary increase? This information will be fundamental to the basis of your proposal for the negotiation.
2. Know your market value
Next, following on from your initial research, estimate your market value. Knowing the salary range is a good starting point in this process and you will have an estimation of your market value based on the industry average above. Combine that with your own skill set, achievements, experience and education to determine where you lie in the range. Knowing your worth is key and essentially it is about what an employer is willing to retain you. Research job listings and note salaries, connect with others in your network to gather feedback and look at the information available from professional associations. These will all help you to determine your level of expertise and market worth.
3. Create a proposal document
Create a short proposal document and bring it with you to the meeting. Having this on hand will be useful if you need to reference something and to present as evidence of your market worth. Summarise your experience, skills, achievements and accomplishments at the organization to date. Also,include the details of your contributions to the company and how you helped increase their revenue, created better efficiencies, helped to grow or expand or introduced cost-saving measures. Ensure the document is professionally written and stick to a business writing style. Include any graphs, charts or tables that help display your information clearly. Present your information with confidence and show them in black and white why you deserve higher compensation.
4. Rehearse the meeting
Again, similar to an interview scenario, rehearse the meeting in advance to prepare yourself for the discussion. Practice the type of questions you may be asked, in terms of being asked to back up or justify your request. Ask a family member or a friend to help you with this and prepare all possible questions you anticipate might be asked. This will help you avoid fumbling during the conversation, getting embarrassed or mis-speaking. Practice the language you will use during the meeting, avoiding terms like ‘I think I deserve’. Own your accomplishments and present your case with confidence. Also, practice simple positive body language movements. Including smiling, sitting straight in the chair, using your hands naturally and making good eye contact.
5. Know your bottom line
Finally, know what you want to achieve from the meeting. Think about what number you want to achieve and know going into the meeting what that number is. Also, consider the possibility of alternatives to salary that may be offered to you. For example, if a salary increase is ruled out, enquire about other forms of compensation including extra annual days leave, flexible working practices or other benefits that would be of value to you.