Here are suggested actions, divided by category. (You can choose as few, or as many, activities from each category as you’d like.)
Conduct Salary Research:
- Identify/choose a website that provides comparative salary data (either a general site, like Salary.com or a niche site in your industry).
- Conduct additional salary research — find 2-3 additional salary websites to collect compensation data.
- Review job titles on a salary negotiation website to compare current responsibilities to the responsibilities outlined on the job posting.
- Look at job postings for the type of position you are seeking. Does the compensation being offered match your research?
- Conduct a Google search for “average salary for (job title).” See if you can find additional sources to corroborate your existing salary research.
- Research the company’s salary structure. Sometimes companies have a set compensation range for each role. If so, research where you fit in.
Assess Where You Are Now:
- Evaluate the salary research you’ve conducted — look at salary, bonus, and benefits offered compared to your current compensation.
- Figure out where you are NOW. Write down your total current compensation: salary, plus any bonuses you received in the last 12 months. Also include the monetary value of any benefits: paid time off, vacation, insurance (health, life, disability), etc.
- Spend 15 minutes determining your “negotiation range.” What range of salary would you consider? Is there a minimum number you must be offered in order to consider the role?
- Create a monthly budget for your current expenses.
Prepare for the Interview:
- Prepare a written summary of your current vs. desired compensation — don’t forget to include non-cash compensation (such as being able to telecommute, or a flexible schedule).
- If you are asking for more money than your salary research determines someone in your role is typically worth, prepare supporting documentation to justify your request.
- Be prepared to talk benefits, not just salary. (See the handout, “Negotiable Non-Cash Benefits”)
- Make a list of the top 10 reasons why you are worth the starting salary you are requesting. How have you demonstrated your value to your current employer? What will make you equally valuable to your next employer?
- Write up a summary of your accomplishments in your current job.
- Prepare three specific accomplishment statements that demonstrate your value.
- Create a short document (1-5 pages) outlining what you’ve accomplished (including testimonials, either from other employees or excerpted from performance reports or project status updates) and your salary research. Include specific examples of projects you’ve completed that generated revenue, or saved the company money, or solved a specific problem. Focus on what you’ve done to create positive changes in the company, manage unruly employees or customers, build relationships (internally and externally), and avert disaster. You need to justify your raise.
- Take some time to prepare questions to guide the salary negotiation process. (For example, “What is the typical salary range for this role? What factors affect being offered a salary at the higher end of the range?”)
- Prepare an alternative in case your request for a salary increase isn’t granted. Consider asking for a one-time bonus instead of a raise, or a non-cash benefit. (See the handout, “Negotiable Non-Cash Benefits”)
Mindset and Role-Playing Your Salary Negotiation:
- Mentally prepare yourself for the negotiation. Practice the conversation. Get in the right mental “space” and visualize yourself being successful in the negotiation.
- Make a list of the top 10 reasons why you are worthy of a higher salary at your new employer. Do not include emotional or personal reasons (such as, “I need this raise because my spouse just got laid off”). Instead, focus on the value you bring to the company.
- See the impact of the salary you want — use the “Dual Scenarios” calculator at PaycheckCity.com/calculator/dualsalary to compare your current take-home pay to your desired take-home pay.
- Spend 15-20 minutes of role-playing the salary negotiation process in an interview.
- Practice answering the question, “What is your desired salary?”
- Spend 5 minutes practicing asking a question in response to the salary question. For example, respond with “What range did you have in mind?”
- Actually write out a salary range you’d consider — the bottom of your range should be the minimum amount you are willing to accept.
- Prepare a response if the salary you are offered in an interview is less than you expected. You might remain silent for a moment or two and then ask, “Is that negotiable?” or “Is that your final offer?”
- Assess what non-cash benefits you could negotiate if your initial salary demand is not met.
- Learn a new skill that will make you more valuable.
- Research a class to learn something new related to your job. Be prepared to bring up the class and see if the employer would pay for you to take the class (and what impact that might have on your future salary)
Completing the 14-Day Challenge
At the end of the 14 days, you’re ready to make your salary negotiation request. You’ve done the work to prepare yourself — now it’s time to make the ask.
Here you can find a 14 Day Salary Challenge Planner
Download your own Salary Negotiation Challenge Planner