The reasons for not negotiating a higher salary seem insurmountable: “It’s just not the right time.” “I shouldn’t come across as pushy.” “I’m comfortable with where I’m at.”
Are you guilty of telling yourself any of these lies? According to a recent survey conducted by Robert Half, the answer is probably yes. Only 39% of people negotiate a higher salary upon receiving a job offer. Furthermore, women in the workplace are even less likely to negotiate. In a study conducted at Stanford University, only 7% of women attempted to ask for a higher wage.
With the right preparation, you can overcome those negative thoughts circling around your head and set yourself up for a salary that’s truly representative of your value.
DEFINE YOUR NEEDS
Before you begin negotiating, you need to define the salary that will help you achieve your personal financial goals. Consider different factors such as:
- Cost of benefits
- Cost of living
- The employer’s contribution to your retirement savings account
- The distance of your commute
Taking a look at these different factors will give you a more holistic view of what that number means to you.
Most importantly, you should be willing to walk away if the employer isn’t going to meet the parameters you defined. That’s because your current salary is the number one indicator of future earning potential. Since most raises are percentage-based, that means your negotiation today will impact how much you earn for years to come.
CALCULATE YOUR VALUE
Consider your skills, years in your line of work, or certifications that make you a desirable candidate. In addition, refer to wage-analysis sites like PayScale to gain a better understanding of what other people in your industry and geographic location are being paid.
This research, combined with your personal parameters, will give you better leverage so that the employer doesn’t control the conversation when it’s time to negotiate.
BE CONFIDENT IN YOURSELF
Research is the easy part of any negotiation. The real challenge will come when it’s time to confront the situation.
Preparation is key to guiding the conversation in your favor. If you’re feeling nervous, write out all the reasons that support why you deserve the wage you’re targeting. Practice this speech in a mirror, or likewise, rehearse with a trusted friend or mentor so you can get comfortable with the verbiage.
Taking these steps will help you better understand your worth and ensure your current—and future—compensation is indicative of what you deserve.
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