Whether you have to negotiate a starting salary or if you want a raise, when it comes to spending more money, most employers are not easily convinced. We already figured out what the “5 things you should never say during salary negotiations” are – now get ready for our top tips on how to prepare and conquer your next salary negotiation to get the money you deserve.
Preparation is key
You would never go into a fight without the right preparation. Of course, salary negotiations should preferably run calmly and peacefully, however, to win this battle you will need some preparation as well – in the form of information, numbers and reliable data. Start by looking up what salary range is realistically possible. Do some research online and find out what other people in your field of work with similar experience and education earn. Of course, you also need to consider the current salary structure within your company. Startups can not afford the same salaries as big corporates and corporates might have stiffer requirements when it comes to promotions and raises than newly established startups. Once you have an overview of the range that is possible and figured out what your goal is, you have to substantiate your case.
Know your own value
Although many believe that a solid reason for a higher salary is the fact that “they want or need it”, this is as wrong as it can be. The reason for a raise or a specific starting salary should always be based on something you did. By this, we do not mean generall phrases such as “I contribute to the companies overall success” because quite frankly, everyone who does their job fairly well does. The key to having a strong and justified argument is having specific and exceptional achievements. A change in the company's structure can also be a reason to consider a higher salary. Maybe your responsibility has increased or your field of activity has been extended. In any case, however, it is important that you are convinced that you deserve this – after all if you are not sure of it, why should your employer be?
Once you successfully evaluated what realistically is possible, what your wanted salary is and what you did to justify this new salary, it is time to strengthen your arguments through numerics. Every employee can say that they finished a project or reached a goal, but this does not automatically justify a raise. What you want to emphasize, is what you did exceptionally good. If your goal was to acquire 10 new customers and you managed to do that, then you did your job. If you managed to acquire 20 however, this is something that will potentially help your case. Make sure to bring data that supports your accomplishments and cannot be argued with.
Communicate it correctly
The preparation of arguments alone will not help you to get what you want. Negotiations are in general dependent on how you communicate with the other person. We already summarized the “5 things you should never say during salary negotiations”, but besides what you say it is also very important how you say it. Firstly, it is important to get into a positive mindset. Even if you do not actually say anything negative if you go into the negotiation with a negative mindset you will automatically send the wrong signals. Secondly, tonality. This has proven to be a make or break reason in many negotiations. If you sound too upset, unsure or even angry, employers will quickly pick up on this and adapt their tone of voice as well. This often ends in a subjective and emotional communication which is not what you want to go for during a negotiation. Lastly, besides what you say and how you say it, you also need to be aware of your own body language while you do so. As we already mentioned it is essential that you yourself believe that you deserve a raise. A confident posture will signal this instantly and show that you mean business.
An employer’s counterarguments and how to deal with them
"I am not in charge of this."
An easy way out for many employers is to not make it their problem. And while it might be true that they do not have the final say in financial decisions, as your direct superior, they are the ones who can best evaluate if a raise is justified. Once they agree, you can go to the person in charge knowing that your superior has your back.
"More money again?"
In most companies, the average span between salary negotiations is between one and one and a half years, there are, however, many reasons for an early negotiation. Maybe the company's structure changed or a colleague left, this can increase your responsibility or extend your field of activity. In this case, it is definitely justified to discuss your pay.
Comparisons to colleagues
It is, of course, important to consider the companies salary structure, however, in general, your salary should be measured against your own success and not your colleagues. It does not matter if they earn more or less than you, every employee has to discuss his or her own conditions.
"Your position does not justify more salary."
If an employer uses this phrase, and even if he is right, there is no need for you to stick with your current salary. If you have enough arguments in your favor, simply ask for a promotion. This would not only justify a higher salary but could potentially open new doors for your career.
"The current monetary situation of the company."
If this is correct, then it is understandable that a raise or higher salary is currently not possible. There are, however, many other things you could ask for instead of more money. Look up beforehand, which other incentives you might be willing to discuss – extra holidays, the possibility of home office, a company car or a company pension scheme – there are many non-monetary benefits you could negotiate.
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