Salary negotiating at your current employer

A newsletter subscriber inquired whether or not it was possible to negotiate salary at a job your are already working at. After some investigating the local job market, they realized that they were quite underpaid and wanted to level set with their coworkers. Someone had advised them to quit their job and try to negotiate a higher salary elsewhere.

Salary negotiation is not just reserved for new recruits. Anyone can negotiate their salary by asking for a raise. They must be well prepared with a deliberately planned strategy and a well developed supporting case to persuade the employer.

It may seem obvious, but if you have just recently taken on the job offer, or just recently received a raise then you should wait until some time has passed and you’ve proven yourself. It is very important to know your value before taking on any job.

There are many ways to increase your total compensation. Think about things like stock options, improved benefits, more days off, or pension plan contributions as other value adds to your compensation. Sometimes it is easier for the employer to give you what you want if you aren’t looking at the hard cash bottom line.

Prior to asking for a pay increase you should do make sure to take a number of steps.

1) Know your market value – do not rely on just one salary survey source. Also, make sure you trust their data. Self-reported salary surveys are far less reliable than those that are reported by the human resource departments in the industry in your area.

2) Your value proposition is a very powerful persuasion tool. Make sure you consider all the ways you ad value to the business. Profit, cost savings, quality, customer satisfaction are all value adds that literally translate into bottom line. You need to assess your contribution to the bottom line.

3) Get yourself ready to discuss this with your employer. You may need to educate them that you are below the salary range. Either way, you will let them know that you know what the market is.

4) Having done your research and having an intuition for where your performance falls within the percentile range, you will need to have a conversation with your boss and agree on the level you are performing at.

There are so many facets to salary negotiation. You should be prepared to do your research and know your facts. I highly recommend learning more about the art of salary negotiating and turn your career into high gear.

If you love your career where you are working, you may need to balance the quality of the worklife with your need for an increase in pay. I recommend looking for an increase where you work first before going through the job efforts unless you’re unhappy with your job.

Having a job offer from another employer is a great tactic to give yourself an upper hand when asking for a pay raise. It is a trump card that you should only play if you feel you need to.

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