Whether you need to sharpen your skills to negotiate a job offer, a promotion or a raise, knowing how to ask for what you want may not come easy for some. You may have learned from an early age the best way to ask for what you want came when you completed a chore or a task. You may have also discovered that the ultimate decision was left in the hands of your parents, teachers or guardians. Feeling that your destiny is not in your control and that from a young age you needed to learn other ways to boost your confidence and adapt survival skills if you wanted to move ahead.
It may be hard to know how and when to ask for something for fear you may alienate your friends, bosses or co-workers. It’s time to learn to stand up for what you want and here are a few ideas to keep in mind that may prove to help you along the way:
- You Deserve It. Nothing screams confidence more than knowing what you are worth and standing up to make sure you are compensated for it. If you are in a job you love but feel you are getting less than you deserve, do your homework and find out what the rest of the world thinks. Going on informational interviews to see what other companies pay for your skill set is not a sign that you are not being loyal to your boss. Doing some market research online to understand what your compensation range should be signals you are aware of how your position is valued on the open market and if you are performing at the desired level, maybe it’s time to have a little talk with your boss to determine the best way to navigate a raise.
- Know Your Facts: No one wants to feel like they are being put on the defensive when it comes to negotiating a job offer or a salary raise. Besides, the person in the position of your boss or hiring manager may not be the final decision maker when it comes to approving your request. Making your request known by stating the facts based on your research which should include, market salary data, comparable position ranges, years of experience and education should be used to build your case. You should not discuss what your peers make, what your boss makes or any other confidential information that you may have gotten access to and try to use to your advantage as it will NOT help your case.
- Engage Support Everyone likes to help someone they believe and trust in even if they have no control over the final decision. Learning how to build your allies and support network actually does come in handy when it comes to your ability to negotiate for yourself. Making sure you have the best offense enables you to move towards your desired goal whether it’s a job offer or a raise. Having others on your side that can speak on your behalf and support you sends the message that others think you are a valued member of the team.
- Keep it Simple: Don’t over complicate your negotiation by making demands that are unreasonable or make you appear greedy. We all want what we are worth but make sure you have no more than three (3) asks in a negotiation and that you are clear on the priority and importance of those asks otherwise you may lose credibility. Not getting caught in the details and having a clear plan of action and specific goals, i.e., title, salary increase, timing, etc. helps you move through the negotiation process with ease and confidence.
- Seal the Deal: You may get so caught up in the tactics or the details of the negotiation that you forget to close the deal and come to a conclusion! Remember any good negotiation ends with both sides feeling good about the results. Make sure you allow yourself time to do the dance but remember to close the deal and accept the offer one way or another. Leaving the deal hanging whether you are thinking about a job offer or timing of a raise or promotion should not make or break the deal for you. Close the deal even if you don’t get 100% of what you want on the first shot keeps the game fair and room for you to come back again in the future.
Negotiation does not have to be a painful process. It’s a dance and you are either the choreographer or the principle dancer. Knowing your part and learning the rules of engagement helps you to ask for and get what you want no matter how absurd the demand.
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