Tuesday, January 6, 2009

7 Tips for Negotiating Your Salary in a Troubled Economy

A few quotes from a posting at Job168.com, that are relevant for today's job search:

It's time for your annual review, which means talking with your boss about a possible raise, a conversation that's rarely easy. A skittish economy doesn't make it any easier, with companies scaling back on hiring and spending. But take heart, career experts say: salary negotiations should be handled with care and skill, but they don't have to be a burden.

Here are some steps to help you get started down a successful path:

1. Create a "mission and purpose" before entering the conversation. Your mission and purpose shouldn't be focused on more money; instead, concentrate on how you can benefit your employer, says Jim Camp, negotiation coach and author of "No: The Only Negotiating System You Need for Work and Home." "When they [employees] are really driven by their mission and purpose for their employer, their value will be so great, the employer will promote them and give them pay raises without them asking," Camp explains. He says it's easier than ever to get a raise by defining a mission and purpose, because it's what employers want, but very few workers do it.

2. Track your success. Employees should keep careful records of their accomplishments throughout the year, including paper files and emails that clearly show how they performed in relation to their goals, says Phil Rosenberg, the Chicago-based president of reCareered, an executive career coaching business.

"By presenting quantified contributions you demonstrate your value to the company and avoid sounding like a whiny 'you owe me' employee," notes Rachelle J. Canter, author of "Make the Right Career Move: 28 Critical Insights and Strategies to Land Your Dream Job."

3. Know your market value. Research what others in your position earn, and find out if you're up against any obstacles, Camp says. "Has the company just laid off employees? Is there new management in the wings? Know all issues that might keep your boss from giving you a raise. State each problem clearly and ask your boss how these problems might be solved," he explains.

4. Consider where you stand with your manager. "If the average raises are 2 percent and you are asking for 4 [percent], you better know that your manager really loves you," Rosenberg says.

5. Show respect. This means respect for yourself, your boss, and the negotiation, says Holly Weeks, author of "Failure To Communicate: How Conversations Go Wrong And What You Can Do To Right Them." Go into the conversation accepting you can't guarantee an outcome, but knowing you can control your approach. If you exercise respect, the negotiation at least won't tarnish your reputation or make things worse.

"How you handle yourself in a difficult conversation is where people really measure what they think of you -- your character is formed there," Weeks says.

6. Leave the script at home. While it's smart to prepare, sounding rehearsed can be a turnoff to your boss, Weeks says. "So I suggest people go in assuming a lot of uncertainty, and have tactics to deal with uncertainty, rather than trying to guarantee how a situation will go. Scripting what you say will make the counterpart feel like [he or she isn't] supposed to be a party to the conversation," she says.

7. Think long-term. Canter says the savviest employees focus on opportunities, not just money. "Think carefully about what you want besides more money. Troubled economies provide opportunities for employees to take on new work and potentially develop new skills and visibility," she says. "Think about what kinds of skill and experience you need to make yourself more marketable at this job or another and be prepared to suggest new or additional assignments in lieu of, or in addition to, more money."
Trackback: http://english.job168.com/english/resource/viewnews.jsp?board=Salary&info_no=15265

Executives exploring Career Change: For a free 30 minute resume consultation, or career advice for executives, email your resume confidentially to reCareered (phil.reCareered@gmail.com), and we'll schedule a time to talk.

Staff, Managers, Entrepreneurs, and career changers outside the US: Send your resume to phil.reCareered@gmail.com to enroll in a free group teleseminar "Accelerate Your Job Search - tools you can use".

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