Asking for a raise can be tricky and nerve-racking.
Here are Wheeler’s top eight tips on talking your boss into paying you more:
1. Don’t just focus on the money
“Consider forms of compensation beyond just salary,” Wheeler says. “There are bonuses, benefits, title, location and more, to take into consideration.”
Other forms of compensation could include commuting benefits, greater work flexibility, and increased vacation time.
“You should always begin by evaluating what you’re willing to compromise on — and what you’re not — in order to get an idea of what is best for you and your career in both the long- and short-terms,” Wheeler says.
2. Set a ‘stretch goal’
Research the range of salaries for your role and level. Then, make a case for why you ought to be at the top of the pay scale.
“A stretch goal is an end-result that is improbable, but not completely out-of-reach for you,” Wheeler says.”In this case, it is a salary or compensation package that is higher than you think you’ll receive. By implementing a stretch salary in your mind, you will develop the mentality to truly advocate for yourself.”
3. Find a good balance
“Straddle the line between self-confidence and practicality,” Wheeler says. “Negotiation is a careful art. You need to be enthusiastic without coming off as greedy, and prompt without coming off as eager.”
He notes that your boss will be far more inclined to advocate for you if they like you. So champion yourself, but don’t come across as obnoxious.
4. Consider the other party’s perspective
It’s important to advocate for yourself. However, in order to do this effectively, you also must see things from your boss’s perspective.
“Too many people fall into the trap of only seeing the situation from their point of view,” Wheeler says.
5. Be prepared to respond
Wheeler says he’s fond of the adage, “To get a yes, expect a no.”
“List all the reasons — both good and bad — that your boss might have for turning down your request,” Wheeler says. “Then prepare a solid — but not contentious — response for each.”
Wheeler advises practicing with a friend before asking for a raise. If you can’t convince your friend to hypothetically up your pay, you probably won’t have much luck with your boss.
7. Schedule strategically
Schedule a time to talk that’s extra convenient for your boss. You don’t want to catch them at a bad time.
“You probably shouldn’t meet first thing on a Monday morning when she’s getting herself organised for a busy week,” Wheeler says. “And late Friday afternoon probably isn’t great either, as she may be scrambling to clear things off her desk before she heads out of the office for the weekend.”
8. Take care of yourself
“Negotiation involves both head and heart,” Wheeler says. “Whenever the meeting is scheduled, be sure that you are well-rested. And make sure you block some time off before you meet with your boss, so you can close your eyes, do some deep breathing, and get centered.”
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