Negotiating a salary increase can be difficult and a daunting task, especially for women. Men are more likely than women to ask for a pay rise at work and therefore are more likely to get a larger sum when they do. In fact 64% of men and 43% of women were comfortable in asking for a pay rise, according to a recent CV Library study. It is also worth noting that women are more likely to negotiate working hours than salary. As a woman if you suspect that you are being paid less than a colleague for doing the same job,you have every right to confront the issue with your boss head on. In other words, you need to ask for what you want – after all if you don’t ask you don’t get.
Here are a few pointers to help you get started in planning your negotiation:
1. Know your value and worth in monetary terms. I tell all my clients to know what this means. To help with this write down everything you do, including the things you contribute to outside your immediate remit on your job description. What added value do you bring to the role? Try to put a figure on this. To help, research other peoples’ salaries either in your own organisation or on-line. For example have you implemented or contributed to an innovative idea etc that ultimately saved the business money?
2. Choose the right moment. Rather than the usual annual salary and performance review meeting is there another time you can approach the topic? For example have you completed an important project which was successful? This could be the moment to discuss your worth.
3. Practice your pitch. Write everything down before your meeting and rehearse what you are going to say. Bring your notes with you to the meeting. Trouble shoot any objections, questions,comments that could come up and have answers to these ready.
4. Be confident and calm. Knowing your value and worth will help. Try to remove any emotion from the discussion, again writing down everything will help with this.
5. Never start the conversation with a grievance or threat.
6. Be positive rather than negative. Pitch your salary increase as not only recognition of what you have achieved but a reward for your dedication and commitment to the company.
7. If the answer is ‘no’ you can still negotiate. For example benefits such as flexible working, training courses, bonuses, shares or stock options. If the answer is still ‘no’ ask “what will it take for me to get a pay rise?”. That puts the onus back on your boss to think about this and evaluate your worth and contribution to the business. It also puts your salary priorities to the forefront of his/her mind for the future.