How to Negotiate Your Next Salary

With so much discussion recently about Sheryl Sandberg’s book, Lean In, on the topic of women needing to lean in more to their careers and ask for greater salaries and leadership roles, Leadership Expert Katie Kelley provided tips on how you can negotiate your next salary:

“Tips for Negotiating Your Next Salary”
Patty Tanji’s found that: “Men are more likely to negotiate:  Dr. Linda Babcock’s research shows that men are confident in their talents and feel it is their responsibility to ensure they get what they deserve (they believe that they can exert some control over what they are paid).( Babcock, Linda and Sara Laschever. Women Don’t Ask: The High Cost of Avoiding Negotiation—and positive Strategies for Change. Bantam Trade Paperback, 2007. Page 35.)

Women have a depressed sense of entitlement: they expect less and feel less satisfied because they are not sure that they deserve more.” (Babcock, Linda and Sara Laschever. Women Don’t Ask: The High Cost of Avoiding Negotiation—and positive Strategies for Change. Bantam Trade Paperback, 2007.  Page 56.)

Patty Tanji shared this great advice for finding your market value: “The first step to find out your market value is to go to this website, this website or this website and do your due diligence to find median wages and other related statistics.
Secondly, seek out a recruiting professional, professional associations and a trusted mentor to find out what other people earn who do the same work.”

It should go without saying, but this entire initiative is null and void if you are not exceeding the expectations your employer has for you in your particular role. Here is an example of how my colleague, Andrea, who knew her current compensation was vastly below her actual productivity.  She made sure to continue to exceed expectations in her role and then approached her boss with this tactic:
 “My first point was 'nice'- and also sincere: “I have thoroughly enjoyed my first year working for you and am confident that we are headed for even greater success this year.”
Followed by your 'not so comfortable, but necessary' request: "However, my current compensation does not reflect my actual productivity for this company and I would like it to be more in line with my market value, which is _______. 
And ending with another 'nicety': “That being said, it is my true desire to remain a part of this team as I believe in our culture and the value of the work that is done here." And exit, stage left.
After delivering this 'sandwich', my boss, unflinchingly said, "Thanks for letting me know" and that was the end of that meeting. A month later, they doubled the bonus I was expecting and I truly believe that my boss respected me much more after negotiating for myself.”

As we learned in Andrea’s example and Patty Tanji’s work, you need to accept that negotiation in mandatory, do your counterintelligence work, uncover your market value, exceed expectations and then practice how you are going to frame this discussion with your boss.
Patty Tanji, explained to me, “that there is a direct correlation between what you aim for and what you get (Babcock, Linda and Sara Laschever. Ask For It: How Women Can Use Negotiation to Get What They Want. Random House Digital, Inc., 2008.).  Set ambitious but not impossible salary targets. Then, find your zone of possible agreement (White, Kate. I Shouldn’t Be Telling You This: Success Secrets Every Gutsy Girl Should Know. HarperCollins Publishers, 2012); with a high range, being your ideal, the middle range, being where you both can meet if need be and low, being the minimum you are willing to work for.  Anything lower will put your wellbeing at risk.”

Finally, Patty Tanji shared with me this fantastic advice: “If your employer comes back with you with a less than satisfying salary offer, here is a suggestion of what you can say:
“I’m very pleased to be offered this salary increase (or job). I do love working here, and I know how valuable my strengths are for our organization, both today and in the future.  But I was hoping for ___________. [insert the high number]”
Let the negotiator respond. Silence is golden. If they come back and say this is a final offer, get back to them in a couple of hours or the next morning with your response. During the ‘retreat’ phase you can breathe, then weigh the offer with your expectations and financial plans.
If the offer is too low you can ask for reconsideration in 3 months. If you can get an agreement to reconsider in writing, as part of the offer, even better. Then put a plan in place to revisit salary at an agreed upon time. Remember to document your brilliance, ask for constant feedback, and try to be as strategic as possible about your pay raise ask. Remember the bottom line. Metrics help!”


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