Negotiating Your Salary with Manners

With companies scaling back on hiring and spending, it has many of us wondering, is now the time to ask for a raise? Or is it wise to just keep quiet and be grateful that you have a job at all? Now is probably the wrong time to negotiate your salary unless you have a scheduled review. If this is the case, however, go into your review prepared to receive some type of increase in compensation, just a smaller percentage of increase than prior years.

Ten percent is a good rule of thumb when negotiating at the pre-employment stage, but remember that there are other ways to receive additional compensation or benefits. Things like additional car allowances, vacation or flextime can be very valuable as well. The biggest mistake people make when negotiating salaries is not preparing. If you are negotiating before starting a position, be sure to identify and list the concrete skills you are bringing to the table and the specific benefits those skills and attitude will allow the company. When negotiating as an existing employee, it is important that you prepare the same way.

Never ask for a raise because you need it. No one cares that your bills have increased, your car broke down or your child’s tuition has gone up.
·Always ask for a meeting in advance. Do not just barge into your manager’s office with no warning.
 Use a respectful tone, know when to accept no and when to move on graciously.
 Leave the door open to revisit the conversation down the road, and get a commitment to do that within a certain time frame.
 Send a follow-up note acknowledging and thanking them for their time, and mention that you look forward to revisiting the subject in three months.

As crucial as it is to be paid what you’re worth, you need to be certain your “worth” is based on realistic data and not just “what you want.” At firstPRO, we want our staff to be paid at the high end of the industry, because we invest so much time and money into training individuals whose worth to the company increases over the years.

By April Fawcett Nagel

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