When you’re being offered a job, you’re supposed to negotiate your salary. Once you’re employed, after a while you may want to ask for a raise. These are common enough occurrences in business. But you’d be surprised at how many people fail to negotiate their salaries or ask for a raise.
This is understandable. It’s all about fear—that it can lead to bad relations and a lost job. But you should also be afraid of what will happen to you if you don’t negotiate your salary at some point. If you consistently keep yourself from raising the topic of salary negotiations, you’ll end up poorer than those who do.
So to help you overcome your fear, here are some tips on you how you can properly prepare to negotiate your salary.
- Is it time to negotiate your salary? If you’re an employee, it’s probably time to ask for a raise if all these situations apply to your case:
- You’ve been in your position for at least a year.
- You’ve been exceeding expectations instead of just meeting them.
- Since you’ve been hired, you’ve taken on added responsibilities.
- If it’s time to negotiate your salary, talk to your boss about a raise 3 to 4 months before the performance review season. Don’t wait for the performance review season to actually begin, because by this time the higher-ups have already decided the budget and the raises that will be granted.
- Know how much you’re worth. You can’t negotiate a good salary for you if you’re unaware of how much people in your position are paid in other companies. You can always do some online research for this, or you can engage with and ask other recruiters.
- You’ll probably end up with a range of figures for your salary. Let’s say for your job most people earn about $90K to $120K. When you start your salary negotiations, you should first mention “$120K” because obviously your employer or recruiter will try to negotiate down.
- Try to mention a specific number. For example, mention that in NYC the top CPAs can earn $126,595 in one company and $124,100 in another. You can then also mention that the average NYC salary for a CPA is $91,198. Mentioning these specific numbers indicate you’ve actually done your research, and didn’t pull numbers from out of a hat. You’re then more likely to get a final offer closer to the number you’re hoping for.
- Be strong enough to figure out which salary figure is too low. This is the salary offer that’s much lower than your market value, insufficient for your needs, or simply too low that it’s somewhat insulting.
At which point, you have to say “no”. You have to be ready for this.
- Prepare a list of accomplishments. Just exactly what have you done that merits a raise? You have to make sure you have them all prepared. Mention all your accomplishments, testimonials from coworkers and customers, and maybe even awards.
With these preparations, you can then ready yourself for your salary negotiations.