Here’s a worrying statistic: 49% of people don’t negotiate their salary when offered a job. Of course, on occasion not doing so can be a necessity; if the job has been offered with a specific wage mentioned, there’s probably not much room for negotiation. However, the majority of jobs will have some mention of “depending on experience” or “negotiable” – so why are so few people taking the opportunity to make their case for better pay?
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The problem just becomes worse as you look at the number of people who stay in the same job, without anything more than inflation-linked pay rises, year after year. The reasons for this are less about employment and more about social stigma; it feels somehow uncomfortable to go and ask someone for more money.
If you have been at a company for a long time and have developed your career and your skills with your employer, then you are clearly an asset to them. That’s why you have a job; because they see you as someone of value. You have a right to stake a claim for a pay rise above the basic levels in this circumstance.
Doing so is more difficult than it seems, though – so let’s try and iron out some of the issues that employees have when it comes to asking for more…
#1 – Not Knowing What You Earn
Do you know exactly what you earn and for what? If you do, you’re in a minority – a lot of people, especially in salaried positions, don’t check exactly what they are being paid for. As long as their paycheck looks about right, they will go along with it either through negligence or fear of causing a fuss.
If you’re going to make a pitch for better pay, you need to be informed. If you make an effort to create a pay stub every time you cash your check, you’ll be in a better position to begin negotiations. If, for example, one month you work much longer hours but are paid the same (again, very likely in salaried positions), then you have immediate evidence of the discrepancy to hand.
#2 – Ask, Don’t Tell
Issuing an ultimatum is rarely likely to get you anywhere; negotiations are about a delicate balance of push and pull. Get together a list of reasons why you think you deserve more, put together from the hours you put in – including hours outside of work, for example when you take work home with you – and the money you receive for them. You need to make an argument as to why this is insufficient.
By pointing this out, you’re not so much saying: “pay me more!”. You’re saying: “something isn’t quite right here and here’s the evidence – could you perhaps help rectify this for me?”
#3 – Offer More
Remember how negotiating is about pushing and pulling? Well, you have to push too – and offering to take on more responsibility in line with a sufficient increase in pay can help sweeten the deal. Don’t offer to work more unless your employer offers more to cover the existing discrepancy and then the extra, but you can offer to make more decisions and be responsible for more tasks. This could be the final tip that pushes them over the edge and ensures that you get what you’re owed.
See also at disruptive business and politics site zenruption