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How To Negotiate A Raise

Posted: 04/13/2012 2:55 pm

Is it really possible to negotiate for better pay in today's job market?

If you're apprehensive about talking dollars and cents, you're not alone. A recent survey by LinkedIn showed that globally, a full 35 percent of people report feeling "anxious" or "frightened" about negotiating.

Some professionals may worry that pursuing their request could cast them in a negative light or worse, damage the relationship irreparably with their boss. Others second guess themselves by asking, "Shouldn't I be grateful for what I have?" or "Do I really deserve special treatment?" These collective doubts can drive people to ask for too little--or prevent them from getting to the negotiation table in the first place.

But employers may be readier than ever for you to ask for more. PayScale.com recently released its quarterly index on compensation trends and found that average salaries are increasing, not decreasing. What's more, employee confidence may be improving when it comes to fattening paychecks. According to a survey by Glassdoor, employee optimism in pay raises rose to its highest level since 2008: 43% of employees expect a pay raise in the next 12 months, up five points from Q411, while 38% of employees do not expect a pay raise. This marks the first time the number of those who expect a pay raise exceeds those who do not.

Despite encouraging trends, many people continue to sidestep negotiating for better pay. Using the following seven negotiating techniques, however, you can learn to negotiate from a position of confidence and strength. Yes, it takes some focus and preparation to make requests persuasively and to get "yes" answers from others, but negotiating is very much a learned skill. Below are some of my favorite tactics for stretching your skills and making a hard-to-refute case for your raise:

Selena Rezvani is the author of the new book"Pushback: How Smart Women Ask And Stand Up For What They Want" [Wiley, John & Sons, $26.95]

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There's an old saying in the HR community that still rings true today: "Managers have short memories." In order to effectively persuade any busy authority figure, you'll need to take it upon yourself to first do your own self-evaluation. You can compile a list of accolades, duties you've assumed outside your role, and projects you've personally spearheaded, including the extent to which others depend on you. If you're someone who worries you'll look like you're bragging, you can keep your self-promotion fact based. For example, if you brought in $20,000 in repeat business, ten new client projects, or saved the company 3 percent of operating costs, assemble those facts and be prepared to stand behind them.
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