You’re worth it – Now prove it: Tips for negotiating your way to a higher salary

When the economy took a downturn, you worked relentlessly and demanded the best not only from yourself, but from those you work with. Today, sales are climbing and all signs indicate your company is in the black again. It’s the right time to negotiate for a raise. But first, you’ve got to prepare like a trial lawyer to state your case.

It’s still your manager’s job to get the most return out of you for the least investment. But it’s your job to convince him or her you deserve an increase. Here’s how to walk into an audience with your manager armed with the strategy to negotiate a bigger paycheck. You’ve earned it – now prove it.

  • Catalogue your contributions. Document the specific contributions you’ve made to your team, project, or company’s success. Use measureable results to present your achievements. (Did your team cut production costs by 20%? Or increase sales even as other departments’ plummeted?)
  • Communicate with confidence. Choose the suit or outfit that empowers a cool, calm poise. To communicate your own worth, you’ve got to buy in first. (Back straight; chin up; firm handshake – just like your mother always told you.)
  • Ask. Be bold – ask for what you want. Allison Green, who writes the blog, Ask a Manager, suggests opening with:”I’m really appreciative of the opportunities the company has given me for greater responsibilities and more challenging work. However, I’ve been excelling at these new responsibilities for six months now, and have consistently exceeded my goals … I’d like to talk about adjusting my salary to reflect these contributions.” * Take a deep breath!

Do some preliminary research. Scan articles and blogs related to salary trends and market forecasts for your industry to determine how much of an increase you’re likely to garner. Make it your goal to secure a percentage or two more. You’ll earn respect for believing in your own worth. It never hurts to ask – well, maybe for just a minute or two.


About Charlotte Weeks - Executive Career Coach / Executive Resume Writer / Outplacement Consultant

Prior to founding Weeks Career Services, Inc. Charlotte Weeks worked in human resources at a national association, where she experienced the hiring process from the other side. She's also the past president of The National Resume Writers' Association (The NRWA). Charlotte specializes in providing C-level executives (CEO, CFO, CMO, etc.), association executives, executive directors and senior-level professionals (director, VP, SVP, etc.) with comprehensive career coaching services and high-ROI resumes. She is author of "I Want a Job in an Association -- Now What?? A Guide to Getting a Job in a Professional Association, Membership Organization, or Society" and featured author of "101 Great Ways to Enhance Your Career." Additional book contributions include "The Twitter Job Search Guide," "Resumes That Pop!," and "Step-by-Step Cover Letters." As an internationally-recognized expert, Charlotte provides programs and documents tailored to each individual’s needs. To ensure that each person is given the highest quality of attention and service, Charlotte works with a limited number of new clients each month.
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