Regardless of whether we’re starting a new position or getting a promotion at our existing job, we all do know that we should be negotiating the salary.
Or should we?
A recent survey by Salary.com disclosed that only 37% of the people always negotiate their salaries – while a staggering 18% never do. What’s even worse is that, 44% of the respondents claim to have never brought up the subject of a raise during their performance reviews.
The common reason why no one dares to ask for more? Fear.
Of course, we get it that salary negotiation can be quite a scary. But what’s even scarier is not doing it.
Here’s one good example: A study once done by Linda Babcock for her book Women Don’t Ask revealed that only about 7% of women make an effort to negotiate their first salary, while 57% of men did. Of those people who negotiated, they were able to increase their salary by over 7%.
That doesn’t sound like much, but if we put it this way, let’s say you were to get $100,000 salary & your colleague negotiates up to $107,000, presuming you’re treated equally from then on, with the same raises & promotions, you’d have to work 8 years longer to be as wealthy as them at retirement.
So, whether you’re a male or female, in your 1st or 3rd job, it’s time to learn how to negotiate. Fret not, we’re here to help you with a roundup of expert tips & further reading to get you totally prepped.
1. Know your value
If you’re going to get the pay you deserve, it’s highly important to know the latest rate for your position in your specific industry & also in your geographic area. If you walk into a salary negotiation without a number, you’re probably at the grace of an experienced hiring manager who can simply direct the whole conversation.
However, you can be fully prepared by doing an online search on sites such as Glassdoor, or by asking others in the field that you’re at (preferably in both men & women, to avoid falling victim to the gender pay gap).
2. Speak with recruiters
Another approach beside own research? Pick up those calls from recruiters. They are the people who know what are your experience & expertise are worth, so use it to your advantage! So, the next time one reaches out to you, engage in a conversation about the position’s responsibilities & salary. You may not get a specific number, but even a range is useful too.
3. Pick the highest of the range
While you’re doing your research, you’ll likely come up with a range that represents your market value. It can be tempting to ask for something in the middle of the range, but instead you should ask for something toward the top.
First of all, you should be confident that you’re entitled to top pay. Second, your employer will most likely negotiate down, so you definitely need the room to still end up with a salary that you’re satisfied with.
4. Be willing to walk away
When considering your salary, you should also come up with a ‘walk away point’ which also means a final offer that’s so low that you have no choice but to turn it down. This could be based on financial need, market value or simply just what you need to feel good about the salary you’re bringing home.
Walking away from a good offer will never be easy, but it’s important to know when to do it & powerful enough to be able to say “no”.
5. Make sure you’re psyched up
Before you ask for a raise, you’ll want to ask yourself a few questions.
Have you been at your job for a year? Have you taken on new responsibilities since you’ve been hired? Have you been exceeding expectations (rather than just meeting them)? The answer to all of these should be a “yes”.
6. Plan the right timing
Turns out, timing is everything. Most people wait until the performance review season to ask for a salary adjustment, but by that time, your boss has probably already divided what raises will be distributed out of the team.
As a matter of choice? Start discussing with your boss about getting a raise 3-4 months in advance. That’s when they decide the budget.
7. Ask questions
Does the person you’re negotiating with pull back or other react negatively to the number you put on the table? Don’t let that restrain you; instead, ask open-ended questions to keep the conversation moving & show you’re willing to work together.
Instead, we can say things like: “What is the budget for this position based on?” or “How can I help you move more in my direction?”
8. Don’t be afraid to counter
If you ask for a higher salary & the employer says no? This doesn’t mean the conversation’s over.
Instead, try this, “I understand where you’re coming from, and just want to hammer away to my excitement for the position, working with you and the team. I think my skills are perfectly suited for this position and are worth $65,000.”
9. But don’t make threats
Again, you ideally want to work or keep working with this person, so it’s important to keep the conversation positive. Whatever you do, don’t threaten to leave if you don’t get the raise. You also shouldn’t threaten your boss with other job offers, interviews or even recruiter conversations.
10. Keep learning how to negotiate salary
If this seems like a lot, well, unfortunately, it is. Negotiation is a complicated process with volumes of books on techniques, tactics & scripts.
The good news? The more you do it, the easier it becomes. Even better, the more money you’ll bring home! So, get out there & learn how to negotiate salary. You’ve now got the skills to do it right.
Michelle Teng is an Associate at Datasearch Consulting, a leading executive recruitment firm specialising in the Financial Technology & Data sectors.
You can download their FREE comprehensive guide on “The Complete Guide to Hiring Fintech & Data Talent – 5 Proven Steps to Secure your Ideal Fintech or Data Role”. Alternatively, you can view the Datasearch Consulting website or contact them directly on email@example.com for a more detailed discussion.