Salary Negotiation 101, Part 2

Recently, the Career Center’s own Anne Nowak gave a seminar about negotiating your salary with your employer. Last month, we posted some key takeaways for jobseekers negotiating salary for a new position. In case you missed it, here are some of the key takeaways, part II:

Asking for a raise or promotion in your current role

Say you’ve been working at a company for a while and you feel you deserve a raise or a promotion. Do you just go to your supervisor and ask them for more money? Yes – but with a plan!! The conversation with your boss has to be well prepared.

Valid reasons for a raise or promotion are:

  • You have made the organization money, e.g. by selling much more than your quota; by growing customer base; by inventing a new product; by creating and conducting a stellar marketing campaign, by soliciting donors; etc.
  • You have saved your organization money, e.g. by auditing records and discovering waste; by improving workflows; by streamlining purchasing; by negotiating better prices, etc.
  • You have taken on considerably more responsibilities and have performed those well.

The following are NOT valid reasons for a raise or promotion:

  • You are getting married/divorced/are having twins…and need more money
  • You are buying a house and need more money
  • You hear that two colleagues of yours got raises and they are doing the same job as you

Now make your case. If you have numbers or statistics to prove your worth, excellent. But even if you don’t, prepare documentation of your accomplishments and make a good case for your promotion/raise. Focus on the value you’ve brought to the company.

However, you’ve also got to time your negotiation right. Asking for a raise during an economic downturn or company restructuring will probably be met with a no regardless of your accomplishments. Keep track of your company’s financial rhythm and budget cycles too – our presenter shared a time when she asked for a raise, and her boss agreed, but the company had finished its yearly budget two weeks before. She had to wait until the next year to make her case again.

further reading

  • Salary Tutor: Learn the Salary Negotiation Secrets No One Ever Taught You, by Jim Hopkinson
  • Mastering the Job Interview and Winning the Money Game, by Kate Wendleton
  • Getting (More of) What You Want: How the Secrets of Economics and Psychology can Help You Negotiate Anything, in Business and in Life, by Margaret Neale (electronic resource)

You may place any of these items on hold at the East Baton Rouge Parish Library website.

Stay tuned for our final post in this series, which will focus on special negotiation strategies for female jobseekers.

Written by Case Duckworth