REFLECTIONS ON – negotiating a higher salary

salary-2Salary is a very important thing in one’s life – be it the salary you are negotiating for a new job or just the annual salary review. In both cases it is also very relevant to keep in mind that money is not the only thing to discuss but also include the negotiation for company benefits in line with the company’s prevailing policies.

To be able to do an effective job in negotiating and achieve your desires some key pointers are :

  • DO YOUR RESEARCH – First and foremost, key to being successful in your endeavours is having proper knowledge of current market value of your job. Doing so is quite complex as what a job pays at entry level and after a number of years of experience definitely varies.

Also getting salary information is not easy, public information is not available in Pakistan, you will have to tap all available sources, friends and connections who could have access to such data or who are working in similar jobs. Government data on cost of living etc which should provide you with an idea of the direction of salary increase. Doing your homework is the first critical step and preparation breeds’ confidence and knowing your worth will help you be ready to negotiate properly.

  • KNOW YOURSELF – Being self assured and having faith in yourself is necessary to build your confidence as well. Knowing your strengths and areas for improvement will be helpful for you to sell yourself during the negotiation process. It will send a positive signal as it shows that you have taken the time to self reflect on your skills and weaknesses.

Additionally, knowing your differentiators from your other co-workers, will also help           you highlight to your boss why you are deserving the pay rise or promotion you are                 asking for.

  • PREPARE YOURSELF – Its sometimes very difficult to ask for something especially for yourself so practicing your negotiation skills will build your confidence. You can do it with a friend you trust or family member who can guide you. Pick a person who knows you well and who can guide you if you are doing something wrong, which may go against you when you have your session with your boss. One can never be 100% prepared as you can never know how the discussion may go but it will bolster your confidence and help you to take the critical step forward.
  • ASK FOR IT – Generally people hesitate to ask for a salary increase or a benefit because they are afraid that the answer will be – NO. However think positively and if your request is in line with your research then you should be confident of success. The truth of the matter is also that, you never know what your bosses response will be unless you ask.

Also consider that by asking you will project the image of a confident person, who is             aware of their skills and worth and confident to ask for what they think they deserve.           So never be afraid to just ask.

  • FOCUS ON THE FUTURE – Your performance rating and any awards you may have received are a very accurate indicator of how well you have performed as an employee. However when negotiating your salary don’t only focus on those aspects. Instead try linking your past performance as a precursor of future success – highlight your positives and focus on your future potential – talk about what you can do.

By structuring your request for an increase to the future you see for yourself you can             talk about what you would like to do in your future career – where you see yourself.

  • BE CALM AND CONFIDENT – Relaxed, calm and confident is the name of the game. Never go in to your boss’s room for a salary negotiation in an aggressive mode. The discussion should focus on your performance, what value to the company you are adding and what you can contribute in the future. Although there may be some arguments for getting a pay rise, remember you must keep your cool.

If you let your emotions run away with you it will only give the impression that you               don’t have control of your emotions and will only paint a negative picture of you. So,             take a deep breath and focus on getting the best result.

  • KNOW HOW TO END – Be prepared with the end in mind no matter in which direction it may go. If you are focusing on all the reasons for a pay increase ending with what you are asking for – it will highlight your achievements as well as give your boss a clear picture of your self assessment. Hopefully things will end in a positive result.

If for any reason the result is not as expected – you should also be prepared to end                 things on a positive note. After all, it will continue to be your place of work and you               do not want to have a disturbing atmosphere where you are having difficulty in                       focusing on your work .

  • NEW JOBS ? – NEVER QUOTE OR ACCEPT : Never make the first move and ask for what you want, instead let them begin by quoting their pay package. By doing so you will be able to compare what they are offering with your own market information and also have room to negotiate. Never agree immediately as well, take time to think, evaluate and come up with your own counter proposal which may include an increased salary or extra/better benefits.

Of course the company may make a counter offer as well but it will be better than their original one and, may include something you had asked for or another benefit in line with their policies. So, never make the first move always leave room to maneuver, to get the best deal possible.

I leave you with the following thought :

“You can only become truly accomplished at something you love. Don’t make money your goal. Instead pursue the things you love doing and then do them so well that people can’t take their eyes off of you.” – Maya Angelou

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