Appraisals are coming up for many professional women, and for many asking for a promotion or pay rise is one of the toughest challenges they'll face all year. Getting adequately paid is vital as pay is one of the clearest ways we measure our value at work. Unfortunately this does not make it any easier to negotiate when seeking a promotion.
The secret is in being prepared to quantify your worth, even if you are in a non-fee generating position. This is the perfect time to look back over what you have accomplished while in your current role and if possible, put a monetary value next to all of the projects in which you participated or managed. If your projects cannot easily be given a financial kudos, cite other measurable indicators of your success. For example, over the past year have you managed more people, mentored new colleagues, won new clients or reduced turnover of new staff?
In one negotiations skills training seminar I conducted, a participant recommended keeping a journal of all your responsibilities and the actions taken towards finishing projects not only as a means of preparing for yearly appraisals but also as a confidence booster when thinking about what you have accomplished. It is easy to forget what we were struggling with 8 months ago and give ourselves real credit for overcoming the challenge. Women tend to minimize how hard a challenge was AFTER they have surmounted it!
After you have listed all your responsibilities, compare them with the projects or clients of more senior colleagues. In most cases there will be a clear increase that is justification for your contribution to the bottom line and therefore your worth to the company. If asked how much you would like, don't answer immediately. Ask first for the range they were considering....then head towards the top of it but be prepared to prove your worth. Be prepared to compromise but keep in mind the tips below to help prove your worth to the bottom line.
Top Tips for Negotiating a Promotion at Work
1. If you would like to stay within your current company, let your boss know throughout the year that you are interested in advancing your career. Bosses do not have telepathy and do not always know who is happy in their current position and who would like a bit more of a stretch. Ask what other types of projects you could take on and what types of skills or training are considered to be pre-requisites to advancing to the next level.
2. Keep your CV or resume in order. Update it yearly even if you plan to stay with your current employer. This will give you a good guide for keeping track of additional new responsibilities or projects you handled as well as their financial worth to the company.
3. Use the internet to find employment sites or salary surveys such as www.payscale.com to compare the earnings of others in this new role. Always have an idea of how much of an increase you would like in both salary and level of responsibility, as seeming unprepared may convey a lack of interest and unpreparedness...not qualities likely to be rewarded with a promotion.
4. Try to get an idea of how much is open to negotiation. Public sector jobs follow standard scales for determining rank and pay, whereas there is more room to maneuver in the private sector.
5. If additional money is not an option, ask how else they could reward your promotion. Get creative; a larger contribution to your pension fund or year-end bonus, the ability to take sabbatical leave, opportunities to pick your clients and do pro-bono work, fees towards child care. Essentially, think of what you would truly value in a better package that didn't necessarily include a more pay.