Negotiating is a part of life.
My husband and I recently purchased a car and really had to work the dealership down on what we were willing to pay. My husband's not much of a negotiator and probably would have bought the car for sticker price had I not been there.
I, on the other hand, always want to get the best deal possible. We negotiated and waited, and negotiated and waited, and finally the dealership accepted our final offer.
Whether you're looking to save money on a product or service or earn more money through your job, the art of negotiating is not one to be taken lightly.
There comes a time in all of our working lives that we'll need to negotiate for a higher salary.
Here are 4 tips to help better your chances in landing that higher pay:
Time it right. In other words, prove yourself before asking for the raise. Many employees ask for a raise and state they'll "work harder," "be more disciplined," "arrive on time," etc. While this tactic is common, it's not going to ensure you get a raise. Instead, do all of these things beforehand. Approach your boss with factual statements such as, "I'm willing to continue putting in extra hours to make sure the job gets done," "I'm always on time, rarely call in sick and use my vacation time when the company is in its slower times," and "I communicate well with coworkers and love working in and leading teams."
Tip: Work for at least one year at the company before asking for a raise.
Be willing to negotiate things other than a raise. Let's face it; there's a chance you deserve a raise and your boss knows it, but it's just not in the budget right now. If this is you, consider negotiating for extra paid time off or the option to work from home one day a week. Though this won't land you more money, it will land you more time to spend with your family, to travel, and to just simply not be at the office (a priceless benefit!).
Have a number in mind, but don't ask for it first. Let them be the first to talk. Reason being is they may want to offer you significantly more money than the number you had in mind. You can always counter-offer a higher salary if the number they offer you is much lower than anticipated.
Tip: Know your worth. If project managers in Washington average $100,000 annually, and you have experience to back it up, don't settle for $90,000. Know your worth and present your boss with statistics to back it up, if need be.
Keep the conversation professional. There's no need to bring up how desperate you are for this raise because you need to pay your child's college tuition or you're house poor. Personal reasons for wanting a raise do not matter to your boss, and only make you appear greedy and poor in money management skills. Along those lines, never compare yourself to your coworkers. Bad-mouthing others is a surefire way to not get a raise or promotion.
And in the event that your boss says no?
Simply ask what you need to do or change in order to get a raise in the future. Work on improving yourself and your job skills, and after six months to a year has passed, be willing to ask for a raise again.
As an employee, how have you gone about asking for a raise over the years?
Sarah Brooks is a freelance writer living in Glendale, AZ with her husband and two daughters. She's passionate about writing, traveling, cooking and spending time with her family. Her writing topics include food and nutrition, travel, personal finance and small business. Sites she writes for include ripoffreport.com and those discussing college degrees.