Are you at the point in your career where you’d like to negotiate a higher salary? Good news, recognizing that you deserve a raise is an excellent first step. Women can face challenges in the workplace, such as being viewed as “unlikeable“ when we have a strong presence or decide to ask for a raise.
Studies have shown that timid, agreeable women rarely are compensated the same as assertive ones. Therefore, many of us must go against our nature and what others in the workplace, including our coworkers and boss, expect of us to muster enough courage and strength to negotiate a higher salary. To top it off, we also struggle to believe we are worth anything more. We tend to undervalue our professional capabilities and accomplishments and willingly accept less than what we are truly worth.
You’re not alone if you don’t know how to ask for a raise. Many women don’t know how to approach the subject. This post will discuss preparing to negotiate a higher salary with your boss, how to present yourself during the meeting, and what to do once it’s over.
Know the What, When, and Why
What to Negotiate?
When we think of negotiating, our minds usually go to asking for a salary increase. However, several additional items could potentially be up for discussion. Of course, the best time is once the original job offer is in hand, but as your life goes on, new things may arise that require a meeting with your manager.
Items you can negotiate besides salary include:
- Paid time off or vacation time
- Promotion or job title change
- Retirement income
- Remote working days
- Flexible hours
- Transportation benefits
- Maternity and paternity leave
- Training or certifications
When to Negotiate?
When is the right time to negotiate with your employer? Many experts would say the best time to negotiate a salary increase or otherwise is when you have the job offer in hand. However, you must draft a strategy if you are already employed. Then you may ask to schedule a meeting with your employer or discuss your desires at your next annual review. What you don’t want to do, is pop into your boss’s office and have them feel blindsided. Respect their time and ensure they can clear a few minutes in their schedule to meet with you.
If you want to negotiate a higher salary, you need to have a good reason. List out why you want a raise before asking to meet with your employer. Your reasons need to be valid to them and prove that you deserve a salary increase because of what you have accomplished in the workplace. Even if the reason behind the desired raise is due to the increased cost of living, focus solely on the value you bring to your position.
Prepare for the Conversation
You need to prepare for the conversation to get the outcome you want. Suppose you’d like to negotiate a higher salary, additional days off, or anything not already agreed upon between you and your employer. In that case, you should ask to schedule a meeting or wait until your annual review. These steps allow you time to prepare for the meeting.
Show Your Value with Numbers
Whether you helped the company grow by three percent, hired ten new people, or created training guides for new hires, it’s best to quantify your accomplishments. Have hard copies of those numbers in hand so your manager can see the proof on paper.
Share Examples of Improvement
Share examples where you have made changes and improvements, added value, or reduced risk since your last review. If you had meetings in the past, you could demonstrate how you’ve implemented growth suggestions.
Remain in Control of the Conversation
Body language can carry between 65% and 93% higher impact in conversations than spoken words. During the discussion, remain engaged and in control. You scheduled the meeting, so you should be prepared to run it.
- Thank your boss for meeting with you and, if appropriate, shake their hand.
- Sit upright, lean forward slightly, and keep your feet flat. Don’t lean back in your chair or cross your legs.
- Make eye contact. Don’t look at the floor or around the room – no matter how nervous you may be.
- Acknowledge and control your facial expressions. Remain calm and collected to convey confidence.
- Don’t apologize for interrupting their day. You deserve the time they opened up for you, and you’re allowed to negotiate a higher salary. Remember why you’re in the room and stay on the topic.
What if the answer is “no?”
Now you know how to ask for a raise, but you must also prepare your response if your boss says “no.” If you didn’t get what you asked for, that’s okay. The negotiation is not complete. You can accept their response and negotiate for something else. For example, if they reject your request for a three percent salary increase, you can respond by asking for at least one remote workday per week.
Begin planning for the following conversation. Ask your boss what you can improve on and set a new date to revisit the conversation.
Confidence is Key
Conversations involving negotiating require a certain level of belief in oneself. Before you can go to your boss to ask for a raise, you have to believe that you are worth it. There are many strategies for building confidence and a higher level of self-worth. I’ve been in your shoes, and as a career coach, I’ve helped many women establish confidence and achieve their career goals, whether it’s a salary increase, more freedom, or a job promotion.
Schedule a free Career Clarity Consult today for help from someone who’s been there and knows the mental struggle involved.