|Fulfillment@Work: RAISE THE SALARY BAR IN 2004
January 14, 2004
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Published by Joel Garfinkle, Dream Job Coaching
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Happy New Year!
May you have an incredible 2004. Let's work together to make your professional New Year's resolutions come true.
Whether you're seeking a raise, ready to pursue your dream job, or want to better navigate executive environments, Dream Job Coaching can help you achieve your goals.
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Raise the Salary Bar in 2004
Five Simple Ways To Up The Paycheck Ante During A Slow Economy
Whether your New Year's resolution is to receive a raise, promotion, bigger office, flexible work schedule, or other professional perks, sitting quietly and hoping to be rewarded isn't going to get you anything except frustrated.
As the New Year begins, here are five sure-fire strategies to trumpet your achievements and successfully up the paycheck ante--even during the most challenging of economic times:
- Schedule Time and Prepare Facts
The first step to a pay raise or promotion in 2004 is to schedule time and prepare facts for a negotiation interview. This interview is a formal meeting with your supervisor to explore discrepancies between your current salary and the salary you deserve.
Be sure you know what the average salary is for your industry, your division, and your position. Investigate what the average increases in salary are and what the industry averages are in comparison with your company. Regardless of your company's economic circumstances, an employer can't deny documented facts, which prove you deserve what you're asking for.
- Highlight Your Contributions and Relationships
Prepare well-documented statements about the work, outcomes, and professional relationships for which you are responsible. Documented facts overcome objections to pay increases.
Record your professional facts, achievements, and successes in a daily journal. In particular, document and focus on results that were overlooked during your formal annual review. Highlight concrete examples of how you performed above and beyond the employer's expectations, contributed creative and innovative ideas, saved the company money, and other self-initiated solutions for which you were responsible.
Be aware of and make detailed notes regarding what your peers and supervisors say about working with you, your achievements, and what you mean to the team or the organization. Often these laudatory comments are made orally, and never find their way into your formal review or to upper management. This list of informal commendations can become key points that prove your worth to the organization.
- Internalize Positive Outcomes
Mentally and/or orally prepare for your negotiation interview. By internalizing the details and positive outcome of your negotiation interview, you'll be in top form and all of your preparation will pay off. While you're driving, gazing into the bathroom mirror, or even walking your dog, envision the most likely questions you'll be asked and practice your best responses. Imagine, again and again, your employer responding and offering you the exact salary or professional perk you desire.
- Organize and Present Your Case
When you're ready to present your case, be well organized. Your presentation must reflect your intelligence, value, thoughtfulness, preparation, and seriousness. To transition the meeting toward your agenda, you might say: "I have some valuable facts which should be considered as you go through your recommendations and decisions regarding my future within this organization."
Be prepared to respond to all typical salary objections. For example, many modern companies have a fixed 3% annual pay increase. In this case, respond by noting a handful of your previously documented facts, achievements, and successes (recorded in your daily journal). Say: "I understand this is all you can give, but I have done this (a) and this (b) and this (c)." For every objection or "no" that your supervisor utters, calmly review your accomplishments.
Another tactful response to fixed average raise amounts: "I'm not an average employee. What I've accomplished is above average and should be looked at and rewarded accordingly."
- Ask for More and Be Sure It's In Writing
Ask for at least 10% more salary than what you feel you deserve. This provides you with more breathing room. The hard facts you've collected speak the truth and can add the necessary confidence to your review. Remember, you deserve more than they could ever pay you.
Secondly, no matter how successful your in-person negotiation turns out to be, nothing is official unless it's written down. Ask for and receive your supervisor's commitment in writing before you leave the negotiation interview. (Many employers verbally agree to pay increases that either take months to become a reality or are never honored at all.)
Then, the week after the interview, follow up, follow up, and follow up. Stay on top of management until the company comes follows through in your favor.
Given that many employers in today's tight labor market are willing to bend over backwards to lure and retain key people, you might be pleasantly surprised how much your boss appreciates you for taking the initiative to keep the lines of communication open. Regardless of how much you believe you deserve a raise, you never truly know how much you are worth to your company until you ask.
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