How do I get the pay rise I deserve without threatening to leave?

How do I get the pay rise I deserve without threatening to leave? Find out on Paywizard.org.

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Answer Paywizard:

You ask a question on the minds of many Americans.  Indeed, many study and train hard to be good at the very work they do every day; however, very few people encounter opportunities to learn and practice the negotiation skills they need to empower them and ensure that they are paid their full worth (or at least what the job market yields as appropriate compensation).  We negotiate in all kinds of situations on a daily basis, but the sensitivity of a salary negotiation can leave even the savviest negotiator feeling anxious.  No matter how gifted you might be in conflict, controversy, or dispute resolution, it is a skill that you can always improve.

Therefore, let me suggest a few resources to help you prepare and to develop a strategy for your discussion with your supervisor.

1.      Now a negotiation classic, Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In, by Roger Fisher and William Ury, outlines their approach to principled negotiation.  The authors provide four fundamental principles to guide a successful negotiation:

separate the people from the problem,
focus on interests rather than positions,
invent options for mutual gain, and
insist on objective criteria on which to determine an outcome.
You can easily find Getting to Yes at your local library.

2.      By taking a look at the PayWizard’s recommendations for negotiating a raise, you can begin preparing to speak with your employer.

3.      A further resource to help you get ready, step by step, for your discussion is So You Wanna Ask for a Raise?

Negotiating a raise does not necessarily have to leave you with the (only) hard alternative of leaving your job, although perhaps this will be your decision.  Rather, in Fisher & Ury’s book you will learn about a Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement (or BATNA).  BATNAs are critical to negotiation because only once you fully understand your BATNA, can you make an informed decision about whether to accept a negotiated agreement.  In other words, while your boss may be able to offer you a raise, perhaps it will be only once you demonstrate certain milestones or realized goals in the coming quarter, for example.  Being able to compare your options to some other plan of action will be important.  It is possible this BATNA will be leaving your current job for a different one, but perhaps it will be maintaining your current wage or salary until your next performance evaluation, at which time your raise will be reconsidered.  Would this be acceptable to you?  Thinking about your BATNA will be vital, and the more you can improve your BATNA, the better position you will be in upon entering your negotiation.  Depending on your own workplace norms, profession, opportunities, etc., this will be different for everyone.

Good luck!


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