We have all thought about getting a pay rise haven’t we? We all want more and often we deserve more but it takes a really well-planned strategy sometimes to make it happen. Learning the art of salary negotiation is a key skill that will help you throughout your career. It’s also a sensitive subject which many of us do not feel confident enough to bring up which is why we’ve created two eBooks to help you learn more about it: Up Your Game, Up Your Pay! and also Get Paid Right, From the Start. One key part of a good salary negotiation is the need to build a case and then present it with confidence…

The human resource in an organisation is a very, very valuable resource. You have to look at yourself in these terms when entering a pay rise negotiation process. Look at yourself as a return on investment. If the employer was to invest in you by paying you more, what return would you be able to give them?

You need to be as objective and as unemotional as you can be when considering your value. You need to be very clear on what it is you’re contributing to the company—and will contribute in the future. Come with good evidence about what it is that you have done. You’ll also require even better evidence around the reasons why you deserve more and what it is that you’re doing relative to other people. If you cannot make it evidence-based in an objective way, why should anybody look at your case objectively and believe you?

When building your business case, it’s also important to be aware of what your organisation already thinks of you. It’s not always easy to find out. Go to people within the company who know you, but aren’t friends who are going to give you the censored version and tell you what they think you want to hear because they’re scared of losing some sort of emotional tie to you. You want to go to people who are mature and objective. It might be a client or somebody in the supply chain or someone in an adjoining department who you interact with quite regularly. You are seeking the kind of objectivity that will help you build an accurate picture of what the employer thinks of you. Talk to a mentor or someone with a status that dictates that they sit in a forum where these types of things are regularly discussed. They’ll be able to tell you whether or not it sounds like you’re doing well and why you’re viewed in a certain way.

It’s useful to confide in people about the construction of your business case, but it’s key to choose people you can trust if you’re going to confide in them. They are people in your career who have meant something to you and given you meaningful and valuable support at various times in your working life. Nurture your relationships with these individuals, whether they’re inside or outside your current organisation. Try to avoid picking anyone in a HR capacity within your present company, because they’d have to be really circumspect in what they say to you.

So in order to create a convincing business case, you have to be clear about your objectives and you have to be clear on where you are relative to what’s going on in the company. Understand where you are in relation to your colleagues in similar roles and look very closely at the contribution you have been making and seek to make. You can never underestimate the importance of understanding your value in terms of your career, because if you don’t understand it, you will not be able to trade it.

Nisa Chitakasem and Simon North, founded Position Ignition to help and inspire individuals in their mid and their late career. Whilst they specialise in career change, and in supporting people through major career transitions, their focus is on guiding individuals to shape and build their lifestyles for a future that they want; through making the right career decisions. To find out more, please visit: http://www.positionignition.com/



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