Every once in awhile I go & see a career counselor at my old university; especially when I’m in between things or looking for something new. I always have lots of questions when I go, & I feel that there is one of those inevitable questions that many people will ask when it comes to salary, “How much should I ask for?” And the career counselor I spoke with gave me lots of tips & information on how to get a raise.
Asking about salary is quite often taboo in our society; when we talk with our friends, we talk about everything from men to makeup, to clothes. But yet, we usually don’t know how much our friends are making. Or our coworkers. And when was the last time anyone asked for a raise? I usually write my blog towards saving money, but for the first time I’m going to write about how you can make more money. My career counselor gave me a long speech on how to do it, while I was scribbling it down like a madwoman.. So here you are!
-Be confident. If you are super confident in your skills, and good at ‘selling’ yourself, have this mentality of ‘Trust me, I’m worth it’, could sell over lots of employers.
-Switch companies, but not too frequently. You won’t get a raise of $10,000-$15,000 in one company, but it’s easier to make that increase when you change jobs. Don’t too it too often, for it looks bad on your resume.
-Show your commitment. Say to your boss, ‘I enjoy working here & would love to know if there’s anything I can do better, because I’m committed to being here. Employers will appreciate that, & could lead you into negotiating a raise.
-Don’t let restructuring shake you up. If you are presented with a new boss, and you feel that you’re due for a promotion / raise, this could be a could time to meet with him / her. Write down on paper all the changes you’d make & why they’d be good for the company. You need to speak up; if you don’t ask, what you want isn’t going to be handed to you.
-Push yourself. Do your research on the average salary for your position, in your field. Present your case to your boss, your salary, & why you deserve more. You’d be surprised how many employers are clueless as to how much their employees should be earning. If they balk at your request, it’s time to move onto greener pastures.
-Keep your eye on the big picture. Sometimes you may have to take on a job that’s a lower salary; but will open more doors for you. Sometimes it’s the position & responsibilities that you’re looking for to add to your credentials; that could lead to bigger opportunities.
-Never take the 1st offer. Especially in situations where it involves relocating, or traveling with work. Tell them you can’t do it without a raise, & hear what they say afterwards.
-Don’t be afraid to communicate. Every once in awhile drop subtle hints to your boss of the work you’ve accomplished. Most importantly be comfortable communicating with your boss. Not only does this make him / her aware of your work; but opening the doors for communication makes negotiating a raise so much easier.
-Be clear with yourself. Ask yourself, ‘What do I want?’ From everything including salary, benefits, bonus, & flexibility. The clearer you can state your intentions, the clearer & more confident you can be in requesting what you want.
-Practice. As you would practice for a job interview with friends / family, you can also practice a salary negotiation. What contributions are you the most proud of? Did they translate to actual revenue? Be confident in talking about your accomplishments in financial terms.
-Make friends & have a support system. Research shows that the most successful women have a group of other professional women that you can freely discuss job & salaries with. Women have a tendency to think of other women as enemies; but that’s not always the case. Also females tend to think that we are only deserving of a raise when our work is perfect. Let go of perfection & start asking for what you deserve!