J. J. Harley
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J. J. Harley in $ Financial Freedom Chasers,

Negotiate Pay Raise, Don't Get Fired

If your company has been making budget cuts and your business team’s headcount has been dwindling, you might be wondering whether it would be safe to ask for a raise; you’ve been putting in the extra hours and have taken on additional projects. Assuming that you’ve survived the chopping block, it is worth a try when you are aware of the value you are offering, and mindful of your long-term goals with the company.

  • DO NOT wait for the company or market to rebound because that might result in a long wait. In fact, waiting might result in the depreciation of your value if you plan on staying with a company for a while.  Negotiating during these tough times might actually work in your favor because it shows that you are committed enough to your work to know the value of what you are offering.
  • Timing is important when negotiating for a raise.  It would definitely be unwise to ask for a raise when your company is in a time of utter chaos and financial crisis.  Bide your time, work hard to demonstrate that you care about the health or growth of the company. Most companies have budgeting cycles and it is crucial that you learn it in order to know when your company might be making budget changes. Have your case ready two months prior to budgeting cycles while showing consistent work ethic. Do not ask for a raise on a Friday afternoon or before a vacation; your arguments will be long forgotten.
  • Ask for mentoring, not money.  On the other side of the negotiating table, your boss is human.  Asking for assistance rather than directly requesting for money demonstrates that you care to continually make improvements to your work. “I would appreciate your guidance on what I need to do to get a raise.”  "What would it take for me to get from Point A to Point B?"  Most people enjoy mentoring and it would work in your favor to appeal to that instinct.
  • Prepare your BATNA (Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement) but don’t use it until you’ve demonstrated how hard you’ve worked, how you have created value for the company and bring those you have helped mentor along the way to light. Learn about the pay system and find out how these decisions are made, and determine what others who are doing similar jobs are making. Anticipate your bosses’ arguments. If you honestly enjoy staying at your company but you've been offered a better deal from another company, try to get the other company to submit their offer to you in writing.
  • If you sense a “no” coming, find a way to end the conversation politely before the objection is uttered — It is harder to negotiate once there is a definitive “no”.  During the time between your next negotiating, you will have more time to build your case and approach from an alternative angle.  Always remember to be diplomatic and never threaten to leave unless you are prepared to do so and have a place to go.