Friday, August 30, 2013

Bargaining from Strength: How To Negotiate Your Pay Raise

Guest Post - Thank to Ashwin Satyanarayana, a dear colleague across the pond

No one likes to work gratis. 
Getting paid as much as you work hard is usually the panacea for productive and satisfactory employment. To make that monthly remuneration grow is a measure of satisfaction.

As such, there’s an abundance of data available to find out how much you are worth – given your skill sets, experience, and industry – no matter where you are in the world.

Studies such as those from The National Management Salary Surveys in the U.K and National Compensation Surveys by the Bureau of Labour Statistics, United States Department of Labor always provide benchmark figures for salaries across industries.

So, do you always have pertinent information regarding your exact worth?

Yes, you do.

Do you always get paid to the extent that you deserve?


Why is that? It’s because we fail to negotiate. We don’t ask for what we want the way we should. We forget that life itself is a long series of both hard and soft negotiations and that unless you ask for it, you won’t ever get it. Here’s how to negotiate for a big raise:

Become Indispensable. Prove your Worth

Here’s a singular goal for you at work: become indispensable at work. Meghan Casserly, who writes a career column at, proffers great tips to prepare you to become indispensable at work. She suggests that you get flexible, learn to prioritize, stay abreast of relevant information, develop lasting relationships, and become a thought leader.

When employers hire you for a job, they expect that you know how to deliver. Now, that’s “ basic expectation” - -it’s almost taken for granted.

To ride the upward drift for career success takes much more than just doing what you’ve been hired you. Bring about change, influence people, lead others and bring out the best in them. In spite of these extras, do the job better than most people can.

Negotiating for your pay raise works from strength. Making yourself indispensable is a sure way of getting there.

Negotiation itself is a skill. Master it

The fine art of negotiation isn’t taught in schools and colleges. Most people get it from experience. While you don’t need special courses to learn negotiation, a primer would certainly help.  

The Air University has a quick reckoner on negotiation skills – think of it as an instant guide to plough your way to making deals and getting things done.  While it’s a helpful reckoner, the best way to learn negotiating is to practice it on the streets. No matter what your job is, work your way around by negotiating. Start anywhere.

Go at it, the Good Old Way: Sit down and communicate.

We are spoilt by the choices we have at our disposal to communicate. So teams now get on project collaboration software, internal communication systems, emails, and phones.

If you want to discuss something as important as a promotion or a pay raise, none of these methods work better than sitting down your manager and communicating what’s on your mind effectively. Get off the emails, phones, and chatting. Talking from strength, proof in hand about your worth to the organization, and effective negotiation skills will help you get what you want.

Further, according to Amy Gallo of Harvard Business Review Blogs:

  • You can have alternatives and be honest about them while communicating
  • Focus on organization as a whole and on “We” rather than “Me”
  • Go beyond money and negotiate for a range of things you’d benefit from such as expanded learning opportunities, mentorship with senior executives, and other non-monetary benefits.

There’s a lot you can ask for as you negotiate. But first, you got to sit down and talk.

Don’t take the easy route out.

How do you go about negotiating your pay raise?  What kicks the money jar for you?

Author Bio
Ashwin Satyanarayana is the founder of Fetch Profits – an end-to-end digital marketing consulting firm. He is a marketing enthusiast, technology evangelist, and a die-hard traveler. He also freaks out cars and home made chicken.

Editor's Note: Need some practice negotiating or planning out "the meeting" -- consider a Laser Coaching Session - they are short, targeted and affordable - click here to learn more

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