Salary Negotiation Basics

MGR Accounting Recruiters in
on Aug 15, 2015. Posted inBlogging In Balance

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Last month we were working with an accountant that was going to be negotiating a raise Salary negotiation - MGR Accounting Recruiters(which ended up being successful), and working with that individual gave me the inspiration for this blog entry.

Negotiating a raise is a stressful time for many people.  Remembering these key points will help you through the process:

  1. The right time for you.  Make sure you choose a time when you have had many successes at work.  I used to have a boss that said, “He who holds the gold makes the rules,” referring to the fact that it’s easier to ask for something at work when you have recently had a string of successes.  Try to only ask for a raise when there are a string of successes that are fresh on your supervisor’s mind.
  2. The right time for them.  No matter how great your performance may have been recently, it’s difficult for a company to raise your salary if overall the organization isn’t doing well.  It’s not impossible, but it is difficult.  All other things being equal, try to time your request to coincide with a time that your supervisor(s) feel positive about the company’s prospects.
  3. Don’t be adversarial.  It’s easy for heightened anxiety about the raise discussion to turn into an argumentative tone.  Be careful to stay calm during the discussion, regardless of the outcome.  Arguing about how you ‘deserve’ a raise rarely works with anyone.  Keep the conversation positive.
  4. Not based on your need.  Surprisingly enough, you should not base your request for a raise on your ‘need’ for a raise, no matter how true that may be.  Your request should be based solely on factors that matter to the company such as your positive results and the value of your skills in the marketplace.  Your ‘need’ may be very genuine, but it typically isn’t enough to warrant a raise with most employers.
  5. Research.  There are many, many places online where you can research your value in the marketplace.  Backing up your plea with statistics from a 3rd party makes for a strong case.  Using evidence gathered from other sources lends credibility to your statement of being worth more than your current salary.  If you are unable to find supporting evidence online, typically a local recruiter can be a good resource for market information as long as they specialize in your field.

If you should find yourself in a situation where you feel underpaid, there is nothing wrong with presenting a well-prepared case for a raise to your boss.  Even if your request is turned down, it generally does little damage if you are well-prepared for the conversation.  Relationships are usually only damaged in cases where the conversation wasn’t well thought out in advance.

Until next time, I wish you the best in your career.

Mark Goldman CPA