While salary can be a key measure of an employee’s value, as well as a marker of career satisfaction, increasing one’s paycheck is often a daunting task. Chuck Doran and Stephanie Bailey of MWI, a Boston-based negotiation and mediation firm, offer the following tips for negotiating salaries in the workplace:
- Research. Find out the salary range for your job and where you should be. Know your BATNA—Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement—in case you can’t reach an agreement with your counterpart. Before sitting down at the table, recall your accomplishments with the company, and don’t assume those you’re speaking with have reviewed your resume. Make a list of your skills and the special projects you’ve led to know your worth and justify your request. Doing the research before entering negotiations will allow you to feel confident walking away from an unacceptable offer.
- Visualize success. Enter negotiations with a positive attitude and picture yourself leaving the table satisfied. Practice what you will say to boost your confidence and sound more natural with your requests.
- Negotiate in person. It may seem more convenient or less scary to negotiate via email, but email is also prone to miscommunication.
- Avoid using a range. It’s an easy mistake to make in an effort to seem less pushy, but the person on the other end will only hear the lower number. Instead, come up with a specific number, which conveys that you’ve done extensive market research.
- Don’t quit. Not every negotiation will go as planned. Use the experience as an opportunity to build your negotiation skills for the next round. iBi