Negotiating For More Money! | Articles & Tips | | Rochester




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 Negotiating For More Money!

By Joe Stein

There are many reasons why a person works, whether that is for a feeling of self-fulfillment, to be part of a team, or the security that is provided by a comprehensive benefit package. Of course, the primary reason we work is money. This statement should not shock anyone…if it was not for money, everyone would be spending their work hours volunteering at a not-for-profit that gives back to the community.
So, now that we have agreed that we work for money, we probably all can agree (regardless of your level of pay) that it is never enough. It is the American way to spend most of what we earn and feel like we should be paid more for our efforts and time. For some, however, the feeling of being undervalued is very much warranted and their compensation is not in alignment with the market and their value.
If you fit into the category of someone deserving of a raise, how do you go about obtaining this increase either internally within your current company or going somewhere else? Unfortunately, for most employees receiving the internal wage adjustment can be difficult to ask for, and even more difficult to obtain in comparison to seeking another company. It is a huge reason why when the economy is doing well, so many people change positions. The current employer does not recognize quickly enough what they have in a person and does not adjust for the change in market.
You may wonder if asking your current employer is even worth the effort. Studies have shown that in many situations (when done correctly) putting yourself out there and asking for more money results in an increase. A recent survey from PayScale indicates that 70% of employees who ask for a raise are successful. Unfortunately, that same survey revealed that only a small fraction of employees will actually ask for more money.
There is a strategy to either requesting a raise or entering the external market in hopes of an increase via an Offer Letter. Let’s take a brief look at some of the items you should consider or prepare for when negotiating for more money: • Prepare for the Conversation: The situation is very similar to how you want to concisely sell yourself during an interview. Prep work is critical as you want to make your point quickly and with impact. Practice giving your "presentation” to a friend or family member so you can get very comfortable with the content and your approach. This rings true for both the internal and external request. You should assume that the initial external offer will not be at the number you are seeking and have your counter request already prepared. • Determine If The Timing Is Right: Remember the old saying, “Timing is everything”. There will be moments in time that are better than others to make your raise pitch. For example, situations such as coming off a successful project or when a key colleague resigns are better times than when the company just announces lower than expected earnings for the quarter. If you prepare ahead of the time for the conversation, then you will always be ready for the right moment. • Schedule Time – If this is an internal negotiation, I recommend scheduling time for the conversation rather than hoping for a spur of the moment conversation where the topic comes up. Scheduling time also ensures that everyone has blocked uninterrupted time to have what could be a difficult conversation. • Don’t Give a Firm Number First: Negotiation experts say that the person who blinks first and gives a firm number will lose. Instead, see if you can get them to present a number and then work from there. Try to use a range when asked, and adjust the range so that your acceptable number is on the lower side of the numbers given. This technique can also provide the impression to the other party that you are flexible and really working hard towards a solution. • Root Yourself In Facts: There are a number of tools online that do salary market calculations by industry, position, and region (including area cost of living). You can also speak to others who do similar work via your network or social media. Make sure that the job duties match up, as titles can be very misleading and a small responsibility change can make a big difference. • Sell Yourself: You would be helped internally if your Manager would easily know your accomplishments, but sometimes a reminder is necessary. Be prepared to verbally outline your recent success, especially in any area where you took on additional responsibilities. Managers tend to love numbers, so anyplace you can quantify your impact (such as in areas of revenue gain, cost reduction, or client service improvement), then note it. Don’t be afraid to draft a document for your Manager to review and reference with others, as she/he will probably need further approval in order to grant the increase. • Decide How To Play It – Are you willing to leave or decline an offer if your attempt is not immediately successful? You have to determine your risk tolerance and if you want to communicate your willingness to move on if an agreement can’t be reached. Typically folks are not that eager to play this tough and, instead, take the approach of reinforcing their commitment to the organization or willingness to accept what is offered. If you are making an internal request, how you play your negotiations is critical as typically you get one opportunity to play the “leave card”, so usually your message is all about how much you love the company, and how engaged you are, and all that you have accomplished.
Maximizing our income during our employment years is important to our families and us (both now and for our retirement). It is uncommon when an increase is provided internally without being requested and similarly, externally you receive exactly where you were seeking (and more) with the first external offer. Obtaining more money usually requires some negotiating on your part and (as stressful as it may feel now) it is well worth it when done successfully.