Concerned About Your Salary? Don’t Fret! Get Your Mind Ready to Negotiate

Concerned About Your Salary? Don’t Fret! Get Your Mind Ready to Negotiate

February 4, 2015
Career Development

Now that you’ve reviewed the results of RDBA’s Salary Survey, you may be thinking that your salary needs some improvement, and this realization may be accompanied by the anxiety that comes along with salary negotiations. All too often, we approach salary negotiation with a negative mindset—we’re fearful of the conversation, don’t think we know how to prepare for it, and worst of all, many of us don’t believe that we deserve a salary increase. That’s right, we often talk ourselves out of a salary increase before we even begin the conversation.  

It’s time to change the way we think about salary negotiation: it’s an opportunity, not a problem. Here are four tips to get your head in the game:

  1. Do Your Homework. Read any article on salary negotiation, and there will almost always be a section on the importance of doing your homework. It may sound cliché, but it’s vitally important. You need to go into the salary conversation with more information and knowledge than your supervisor. You’re already the expert on nutrition, now you need to be the expert on your compensation. RDBA’s Salary Survey will equip you with the data you need.
  2. Study Up on Negotiation. You think nutrition is a science? Well, so is negotiation. And some say it’s more art than science. Immerse yourself in articles about negotiation, and specifically salary negotiation. And don’t just read articles from the employee perspective. Seek articles that will give you insights into the employer’s perspective as well. 
  3. Build Your Case. Once you know what you want to ask for, build the case for why. And most importantly, you have to write it out. Get all of your thoughts written into a document and then organize them. Boil everything down to three key messages with supporting points that provide irrefutable evidence that yes, this person deserves a salary increase.  
  4. Role Play. Just as if you are preparing to give an important presentation, you need to practice the salary negotiation conversation. Identify someone you trust who has significant (and successful) business experience as well as strong communication skills and ask them to role play with you. Run through the salary conversation with them several times over the course of several days (or weeks), and get them to ask you tough questions. This is a critical—and often missed—step. Role playing will increase your level of comfort and confidence with the salary negotiation conversation.

Ready to get started? Here are some articles that will help you get your mind ready to negotiate.

U.S. News and World Report: 5 Ways Employers Discourage You From Negotiating Salary

RDBA Weekly: Salary Management – Getting What You Deserve

Forbes: Salary Negotiation Report – What Goes on Behind Closed Doors

Huffington Post: Five Reasons You Should Negotiate Your Salary, Every Time