By: Stephanie Hayman, Marketing Manager at TSYS
“I will vacuum the house every Saturday if I can get a Beanie Baby at the end of the month.” Yes, even as a child, I drew up contracts and negotiated with my parents.
The truth is, as children, and as we morph into adults, we are faced with subtle and informal negotiations each and every day. You may be trying to persuade your toddler to eat his or her vegetables; ask the Sirius XM representative to give you a promotion or otherwise cancel your service; pitch your client a steep hourly rate for creative services.
Though this less-obvious parleying seems rather simple, the toughest discussions seem to revolve around the following: Salary and promotions. GASP!
Throughout my career, I have had a fair amount of experience in negotiating, and through practice, I’ve gotten better each time. Before broaching the subject with your HR Manager or direct boss, there are two details that will play into the success of your conversation:
Confidence is Key.
My very first meeting involving salary negotiation did not go so well. I was a 25-year-old rookie and wasn’t well-versed in corporate negotiations. I was sweating, anxious, and scared. I fumbled with my words. I got too caught up in the meeting itself, rather than being assertive about what I wanted.
Ditch the anxiety and work on your emotional intelligence. The worst outcome of the conversation is that you are provided with a blatant “no.” Stay calm, cool and collected, and don’t throw a bomb into the process. If you are confident about what you want, it can only help legitimize your case.
Legitimacy of the Ask.
Come to the table with why you are deserving of a raise or promotion. Your age does not dictate whether you’re deserving; your longevity at a company does not dictate whether you’re deserving; your standard completion of assigned responsibilities does not dictate whether you’re deserving.
If you want a raise or want to move up the chain, be able to discuss actionable details that show that you have gone above and beyond in your role. What have you contributed to the organization that has made you a standout? Why do you deserve to join the ranks of leadership? How has your work led to an increase in the business’s bottom line? How will getting a 10% increase in salary provide the necessary motivation for you to continue to excel?
As a total aside, gender inequality in negotiations has been studied, and is a perceived issue. Research shows that women have a harder time negotiating in the business realm, and it’s more difficult to level the playing field. Let that serve as a motivator instead of acting as an inhibitor. Personally, if I had to negotiate a salary increase or a promotion in a room full of men versus women, it wouldn’t make a difference to me. Men and women do have equal opportunities; it’s all about how you portray yourself as an individual.
Be confident, know what you bring to the table, and knock ’em dead.