Whether you are accepting a job offer, getting a promotion or trying to secure a raise, talking salary isn’t easy. Many of us feel uncomfortable discussing money especially when it involves our own worth to a specific position and company. There are some ways to improve the chances of a favorable outcome — getting paid what you’re worth.
The best thing you can do ahead of time is get prepared. Make sure you know your subject matter — in this case the specifics of your industry and your job. Look at job openings for similar positions. See what sort of experience they are looking for and the salary they are offering.
Assess Your Worth
Use the information you find in the research phase to assess your worth. See what skills you have that are in demand. If you are lacking in an area, consider taking a class or getting certified before you ask for a raise. Set out some specific numbers. Have an idea of what you would like your new salary target to be and then a number that you would be happy to accept.
This can be hard for many people. We often are eager to trumpet others’ accomplishments but have trouble talking up our own to important people. Make a list of all the ways you have contributed to the company, especially citing any direct numbers that show how you brought clients or more revenue.
If you have taken on any additional work or spearheaded projects, list those out along with some details. You may think everyone knows how hard you are working but it can be useful to remind the higher-ups of just what you are contributing.
Start a Discussion
Be ready for this salary talk to be a discussion, not just a question and answer. Be willing to ask for more money, vacation time or perhaps a new title. Walk in ready to negotiate so you aren’t left speechless.
If you really feel you are undervalued at your current job and the salary talks don’t go your way, it may be time to start preparing for a change.
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