Asking for a raise is often stressful, especially if you've never done it before. The conversation can seem like a contentious battle between you and your managers, but it doesn't have to be an anxiety-inducing experience.
When you enter negotiations with documented achievements and a clear goal in mind, you'll be more likely to see success. The ability to advocate for yourself during monetary negotiations is of particular importance for women, who are 25% less likely to receive a raise compared with their male counterparts, according to CNN.
The best time to negotiate is before you have the job
The best time to negotiate your salary is when you're interviewing for a new position. During the interview process, you should clearly explain your relevant educational history and work experience so you can justify your ideal compensation.
In his seminal book "What Color is Your Parachute?" job search expert Richard Bolles explained that you should delay compensation discussions until the employer has explicitly expressed their desire to hire you. Doing so puts you in the best position to get what you want.
If the interviewer tries to pressure you into stating a dollar amount early in the interview, you can deflect the question by saying you'd like to wait until you have a thorough understanding of the responsibilities of the job, or you can give a very broad salary range. When you're certain you want the job and the hiring manager has made it clear they're seriously considering you, then you can discuss money within the context of the job's requirements and your unique experiences.
Money isn't the only thing on the table
If you've been in your position for a while and can demonstrate that you have grown as a professional, it's time to ask for higher pay. In addition to your recent accomplishments, you'll also want to look up average salary ranges for your position and specialty.
Sometimes, your employer will be unwilling or unable to give you more money. When that happens, you can turn the conversation to other benefits. You employer may be willing to help you pay off your student loans, for example. Or, you can negotiate for fewer night shifts, more vacation time or paid trips to professional conferences. Asking for more benefits shows that you take your work seriously and that you've been monitoring your professional growth.
Leaving may be the best option
If you've respectfully asked for a raise and have demonstrated your professional growth, and your employer still won't listen to you, it may be time for a change. Forbes has even reported that job hoppers can earn as much as 50% more over their lifetime, compared with workers who stick with a single employer. So even if you're happy with your current job, you may still want to keep an eye on new opportunities.
When it's time to look for a new position, sign up for free job alerts at myHealthTalent.com. When you enter negotiations with documented achievements and a clear goal in mind, you’ll be more likely to see success.