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How to do salary negotiation fearlessly

How To Do Salary Negotiation Fearlessly | Step-by-Step Guide

Lots of people renegotiated their salaries in 2021 –– even if they didn’t know it. That’s because after rising all year, in August the quits rate reached almost three percent. That broke a 20-year record. Of course plenty of people left one job without another lined up. They focused on family, self care, or starting a new business. Yet many of the resignations were from job switchers. And changing jobs is consistently the best way to boost your income. During the COVID-19 pandemic, job switchers enjoyed nearly a six percent income boost while those who stayed with their employer saw their wages grow by barely three percent


It’s partly because negotiating salary makes people so nervous that many folks would rather leave their current job than ask for more money. Except, maybe you don’t want to quit. Maybe you like your job. Well, are you being fairly compensated? If your answer is more of a confused grunt than an “Absolutely!”, then it’s time to do something. So whether you’re weighing a job offer or you’ve been with the same company for a decade, here’s how to do salary negotiation fearlessly.


Be Prepared


The Boy Scout motto really applies here. Running into your boss’s office and loudly demanding a raise because your car insurance just went up isn’t helping anyone. Neither is happily accepting the first offer from a potential employer. Truth is, in one study more than half of all women, Millennials, and Gen Zers had never negotiated their pay. In this case, you don’t want to be like everyone else. So, if you want to know the secret of  how to do salary negotiation: it’s research and preparation.


Reach out to people in a similar position. Talk to coworkers –– especially those who were recently promoted. Scour online forums like Glassdoor and use their Know Your Worth  salary estimator. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics also offers median salaries for a wide range of occupations. Keep in mind that others in your field may not be as eager to negotiate. If enough workers in a profession don’t negotiate salaries it can drag down median earnings for everyone. As an example, in one study fewer than one out of five male administrators negotiated their salaries. However, you should never let what others have done or failed to do deter you. You are an individual. 


There’s also a fairly new factor to keep in mind. If you’re under 40, you don’t remember the 1970s –– the last period when the U.S. experienced high inflation. While prices aren’t rising as quickly as they did back then, it’s something to keep in mind. Because the ideal salary from 2019 won’t have anywhere near the same purchasing power in 2022. On the plus side, there are far more job openings that there were in the seventies, which means you have considerably more leverage.


Keep in Professional, Not Personal 


Money can trigger an emotional response. No matter your income, there’s a good chance you’ve had a serious discussion with your significant other about money. And if you’re struggling financially it’s easy to make the negotiation personal. Don’t. Your challenges paying rent or affording a decent school for your children are not something that should be aired in a negotiation. Rising inflation overall should be considered but you’re worth more than just a cost-of-living raise, aren’t you? 


Instead of using phrases likeI need” or “I want,” focus on the value you’ve been delivering. Even if you’re a potential new hire, you can summarize your skill set. If you’re asking for a raise, have a summary of the responsibilities you’ve taken on along with your achievements. If there’s the possibility of a promotion, this can make negotiation toward a higher salary easier to achieve. Avoid turning it into an argument and recognize early that likability is a big factor in whether or not you get a raise. 


Remember, over a life time avoiding salary negotiations can cost you thousands of dollars. Like networking and skill development, negotiating is a vital component of your career success. Besides, you’re worth it!


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