One of my favorite things to discuss is finding ways to earn extra money. Commonly I suggest people get a part-time job, or start a side hustle as a freelancer or by using another skill or hobby to make some extra money alongside a full-time job. But sometimes the best way to earn more money is by asking for a raise.
If you want to increase your salary at your current one, salary negotiation is a dance you must either already know the steps of, or learn quickly in order to be successful.
There are several factors that contribute to the salary of any job, and not all of them can be controlled by you, the employee. Certainly your professional experience and level of education are key contributors to the amount of money you take home each pay period. But the area of the country you live in as well as the size of your employer can also affect your salary negotiation tactics, along with the current success of both your employer and yourself. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to make your salary negotiation appointment be more likely to work in your favor. Here are 5 tips to help you succeed at getting the best salary possible as you negotiate for a larger paycheck.
1 Demonstrate Your Interest.
Consistently show your dedication to your employer and your job through positive actions and hard work. This shows you are interested in the success of both yourself and your employer, and will have your superiors giving careful consideration to your requests for a higher salary and/or position in the company.
When I worked at a “traditional” job, I made sure to show initiative by asking for additional tasks and responsibilities whenever I had extra time at work or as new opportunities became available. Sometimes just asking for more responsibilities will result in a raise with you having to set up a salary negotiation appointment with your superior.
2 Do a Comparison.
Pay attention to what other people in similar positions make. Make sure you are comparing apples to apples, though, by choosing positions in similar size companies in the same geographic location as yours, etc. You don’t want to enter a salary negotiation with unreasonable expectations – this could be harmful to your future relationship with your employer.
At the same time, don’t bring up how much a co-worker makes. This makes you appear whiney, unprofessional and gossipy. It could also harm your relationship with your co-worker. You might instead say that others in your profession with similar experience make X dollars more, and you wish to be paid competitively.
3 Be Flexible.
Perhaps you could negotiate an extra week of vacation instead of a higher salary. Or, maybe your employer would be willing to chip in a little more toward health insurance costs. These benefits are still valuable benefits and worth looking into, especially if you go into your salary negotiation appointment knowing the budget is a little tight for giving raises at your company right now.
4 Focus on the Company
What positive impacts have you had in your position and the company overall? List some successes that have made process improvements and how you feel you can benefit the company in the future in an even greater capacity. Employers love team players and are more willing to reward those who are loyal with a higher salary or better benefits.
5 Timing is Important.
If you know your company is not in a good financial position, now might not be the best time to try to negotiate for a raise. However, if you have been taking on extra responsibilities and projects and your employer is doing well financially, it could be the perfect opportunity to ask for higher pay.
Asking for more money can be tricky, but if you know the right moves, you can dance your way through the process and come out a winner.
What other tips have helped you in salary negotiation?