Even in this economy salary raises are possible. However, salary negotiation preparation is vital if you want to succeed. The key is proving your value to your employer. You need to be clear and fluent about why you deserve what you're asking for without sounding defensive.
Research And Compare Your Salary. Make sure you know how much your skills are worth. Knowing your fair market value is one key way of being prepared. You want to be able to highlight what the market value is for a person with your skills and experience, or the value you've brought to your current employer.
Check out the tips and sites on our Negotiating Salary Research page, if you haven't already done so to find out how to value the job you hold and where in the salary range continuum you fit. You'll need to tell your boss exactly how much you'd like to get paid. When you know what others in your field are paid and what your position is worth, you can use that figure as a starting point for negotiations.
Make A List Of Your Specific Accomplishments. Think you deserve more money? Be prepared to prove it. You need to show your boss the value you add to the team and point out specific instances you went above and beyond the call of duty.
If your job description has changed over the past year, or you've taken on added responsibilities, include those with your list of accomplishments. If you've recently completed training, received credentials or obtained an advanced degree that will benefit your employer, make sure to point that out as well.
Keep a Kudos File to keep track of items like positive work evaluations, examples of your best work, thank you notes from clients, awards or recognitions so that you have them at your fingertips when you need them.
Outline Your Leadership Skills And Future Goals. Have there been occasions when you've saved money or made your department run in a more efficient manner? Do you meet all deadlines? Are you a team leader as well as a team player? What is your attendance record?
These are all items you should be prepared to discuss. If there have been any occasions in the past where your performance was less than exemplary, note this and be prepared to offer an explanation. Don't offer excuses or point fingers, however. You'll want to take responsibility for your own actions.
Know Your Company's Financial Picture. It's also important to understand your company's financial picture at this moment in time. Your ability to get a raise will depend a lot on how your company is doing financially. If the company is struggling to hold on, now is not a good time to ask. If the firm is more flush with cash at other times of the year, ask then
Practice In Advance To Increase Your Comfort Level. Spend quality time rehearsing a brief presentation that stresses positive, measurable facts about your performance. Consider practicing your presentation with someone you trust You will stand out as being comfortable and confident, and as having more self-esteem because you are willing to address an issue most aren't.
Consider Negotiating Benefits And Perks. Maybe a pay raise won't fly at the moment - in part because it would involve extra taxes and workers' compensation for your employer. A raise doesn't have to come in dollar signs.
So before entering negotiations, think of other areas you are willing to negotiate such as vacation time, increased car or cell phone allowances, flexible work hours, stock options or tuition reimbursement. You might also consider bargaining for the right to telecommute, a more prestigious title or a week at a professional conference in Hawaii.