“You don’t get what you deserve. You get what you negotiate,” says author, Chester Karrass.
And, unfortunately, it’s true. Employers aren’t going to pay more for our amazing skills, personalities, experience and overall value unless we are willing to ask for it, which is a skill in itself.
Negotiating can be tricky if you’ve never done it before and if you don’t have decades of experience in your career. But you should definitely give it try so that you can actually get what you deserve for your skill set.
Financial expert, journalist, speaker and author, Farnoosh Torabi, wrote a column for Business Insider providing nine pieces of financial advice from her career.
In the first, she quoted Karrass. She said that, in 2006, she was changing jobs. At the time, she said she was earning about $45,000 as a producer and occasional on-camera reporter. She was up for a job as senior video correspondent for TheStreet.com.
“And, crazy as it sounds, I asked to more than double my salary with the new gig. I asked for $100,000,” Torabi wrote in her column. “My manager offered $85,000 (which would have been an incredible raise!). But I replied, ‘How about we agree to $90,000 right now and I don’t bother you in six months?’ Next thing I heard? ‘We’ve got a deal. Welcome to TheStreet!'”
Prior to making this request, though, Torabi probably looked up what senior video correspondents actually make. Depending on the company, some might make close to $100,000, but that was probably a high-ball number. Though she didn’t know it, roughly $80,000 to $90,000 may have been the market rate for a job like, so even though her first asking rate was high, her future employer wasn’t totally blown away, according to Forbes.
More importantly, though, Torabi was confident in asking for that amount of money. Her skill set probably made her worth the amount she requested and, because TheStreet.com is based in New York City, she probably also factored in what could actually help her live comfortably.
If she hadn’t been as confident, Torabi may have walked away with tens of thousands of dollars less than the big number she asked for.
Though Torabi describes her experience as kind of random and off-the-cuff, her nonchalance made her look like a strong negotiator and someone whose expertise really was worth close to $100,000. And, before she knew it, she was making 50 percent more than she had at her previous job.
Want more? Here’s 5 negotiation tips:
1. Do Your Research
This should be a no-brainer, but I’ve experienced countless interviews and negotiations where the other person has no idea what they want, what the company is hiring for, and what the salary range may be.
2. Listen & Solve Their Problems
Sure you boss asks you what your goals are during your periodic review. But have you ever asked them what they hope to accomplish this year? Try it, and see what they say.
Sometimes, the challenges they face are things you can help solve. If you offer to help, or learn something new to relieve a burden of theirs, this immediately makes you more valuable as an employee, and show you’re a team player.
3. Give Them Time
Of course, everyone wants an answer right away. But often, there’s a chain of command and approvals that need to be addressed before an answer can be given. Practice patience and give them a few days to come back with a counter offer (or acceptance).
4. Have A Bottom Line
Occasionally, you can’t come to an agreement on a price. If you know your bottom line, you won’t stall or waste time trying to decide if you’ll settle. You’re worth it, don’t settle for anything less than your bottom line.
5. Understand Money Isn’t Always The Answer
Maybe your boss doesn’t have the flex room in her budget to give you a pay raise. But how about a few extra days of vacation, the ability to work from home one day a week, or working 4 ten-hour days instead of 5 eight-hour days?
Many companies are coming to understand and respect the work-life balance. This may just play in your favor better than you’d hoped. Recognize what other perks can motivate you, and use those as bargaining chips.
Photo by Aidan Jones