By Lilian Wamaitha
Money is said to be one of the biggest motivators and I doubt that there is someone who is content with their salary enough to not want a raise.
It’s just how money and people work and there is nothing wrong with wanting to earn more.
The perception however that we tend to have is that by asking for a salary increase, you will be perceived as greedy and ungrateful.
And so you stay silent and continue earning the same salary even though it’s not commensurate with the work you do.
You are just waiting for your boss to call you to review your salary but this will never happen.
However, if you know what you want and have decided to go ask for that salary increase, it’s important to know what to say.
Money is always tough to talk about hence why you should be doing it right.
Remember that this is your one chance at a better pay check. One wrong move and you could be looking at a rejection.
In this article, I will take you through some of the phrases that you should never use when negotiating for a higher salary.
1. I accept your (initial) offer
If you have negotiated for a salary increase and your boss has already given you the offer, don’t just accept the first thing he or she tells you.
If they are willing to give you more because they believe you are worth it, it means they can dig deeper.
Being prudent wins at a lot of things in life but not at salaries.
The goal of negotiation is for both of you to give your offer so that you can meet in between.
If you don’t do this, you will just go back to the same position in a few months – miserable and wishing you could have negotiated for more.
2. Susan earns more than me, yet she spends her entire day playing candy crush
This is the biggest mistake you could ever make when negotiating salary is comparing yourself to another person.
If you happen to learn that your co-worker in a similar position earns more than you, you don’t need to mention this to your employer.
There may be a valid reason why they are making more than you.
Maybe they have additional courses to improve their skills set or are just more experienced than you.
Don’t just assume that your employer is giving you the short end of the stick.
Instead you could say something like “I have done a lot of research on the salary for someone with my education and experience level and I feel that I have done a great job so far to discuss my salary increase.”
3. I know that the timing is wrong and maybe you don’t have it in your budget…
When it comes to salary negotiation, confidence is key.
If you know that you deserve to earn more than you are earning right now, you don’t have to second guess yourself.
Whether the economy is not favoring any one right now, that is for your employer to worry about.
Never assume that there is no money for a salary increase.
Some of these beliefs are what is keeping you at that position you are in.
4. That offer is insulting…
Salary negotiation warrants that you go in with an open mind. It’s not obvious that the answer will be an automatic “yes”
During the negotiation, keep the conversation gong and avoid jumping to an automatic “no”.
For instance you may be looking for 65K but the maximum your boss can offer at that time is a 60K, so don’t just say no.
Instead see if there are other things that you can negotiate for like maybe a vacation or bump your title from Communication Officer to Senior Communication Manager.
The secret is not to appear rigid or discontent.
Ask for an explanation as to why you salary cannot be reviewed at that time and arrange for a time when you can hold the discussion again.
It’s your turn
With the current job market, few of us have the liberty to be choosy or even turn down a job. You have to take what comes otherwise you risk being jobless. However, this should not be the case. In as much as jobs are hard to come by, you deserve to earn what you deserve and are comfortable with. If you are looking to negotiate for a higher pay, now you have the necessary tools to make that happen.
Lilian is a Communication Officer at Corporate Staffing Services, a HR and Recruitment firm offering trainings, coaching and job placements. Click here to learn more about their ongoing trainings to empower you to advance and thrive in your career