Not Interested in Having a Side Hustle? It's Time To Negotiate a Salary Increase.
The Strictly Business series isn't just for aspiring or established entrepreneurs, it's for corporate intrapreneurs and those interested in moving to better positions in their professional career.
I remember the first time I was ever told that negotiating for a specific salary or asking for a raise was a feasible option was years ago after reading a Glamour magazine article. I've been on the hunt ever since for the best resources on fair pay for position and experience, a great script to ask for a raise, and tips for negotiating a salary for a new job. Below, I share what I've found.
Talk to family, friends and colleagues about how much they're making.
Being open about what you make and asking others to share how much they're making will help you gauge the range of possibilities. The Glamour article suggests that "you talk to a broad cross-section of people, not just women your own age and race otherwise you risk bench-marking your salary against other people who might not be getting paid fairly."
For me, personally, talking about what others make allowed me to be honest about how much I wanted to make and explore ways to get there even if that means a job or career pivot. Don't be afraid to go after the salary you want.
Research the average pay for your industry, position and experience.
Nowadays, there are plenty of websites that offer information on salary. My faves are Payscale.com and Salary.com. Glassdoor also offers a free personalized salary estimate based on your work history and the job market. The more you know about your industry's salaries the better prepared you will be to make your case.
After you've done extensive research on salary and determined that you're worth more, it's time to approach your boss.
The key here is to make sure that you're actually being underpaid. During your research, you should honestly examine your skills and experience. If you conclude that you are being underpaid then it's time to get to work polishing your negotiating skills. The first step in preparing to approach your boss, according to Glamour, is "burnishing your reputation" by cleaning up your social media and updating your LinkedIn profile. If you don't have a LinkedIn profile, this is the time to create one.
The next step is simple, ask your boss for a one-on-one meeting. Glamour suggests timing the conversation at the right time like after the completion of a successful project or after you've closed a deal of sorts. Use this script by negotiating expert Hollie Delaney:
"I'd like to talk about the ways my job has changed. I was hired in [month, year], and my responsibilities were [list of tasks]. Over the past [period] I've gotten great feedback, and you've added [new responsibilities]. I've looked at what similar positions pay and found salaries in this ballpark. I'd like to discuss getting my pay closer to that."
Have confidence when asking.
If you don't believe you actually deserve what you're asking for, your boss won't believe it either. Caroline Ghosn, founder and CEO of Levo League, a professional network for young women, suggests using the right words and tone of voice. She recommends that you "End your sentences on low vocal notes, not high ones. Avoid phrases like 'I feel,' 'I need,' 'kinda,' 'sorta,' and 'maybe,' which don't lead to factual statements or signal confidence. Smile, square your shoulders, and look your boss in the eye." I'd also like to suggest that you PRACTICE.
Know the results of the "Ask."
There's good news when it comes to asking for a raise or negotiating a salary. According to Glamour's survey of roughly 2,000 people, nearly 80% of people who negotiated a higher salary when starting a new job got what they wanted. From that same survey they found that 75% of people who asked for a raise also got what they wanted. As the saying goes, "closed mouths don't get fed."
Know that it's not the end if your boss says "no."
There could be a plethora of reasons that your current boss denies your request for a raise but that shouldn't discourage you. When I worked in sales, I was told to look at a "no" as a "not right now." So if you find yourself rejected in your meeting, Delaney suggests that you try this: "OK. When should I follow up to discuss this again?" Make sure to thank your boss for the consideration.
How will you be taking the leap towards increasing your salary? Share in the comments.