Whether you are about to join an organization or want to advance your career with your current employer, at some point you will need to discuss your salary. For many people, discussing salary can be uncomfortable. If there is a job offer on the table, they may be worried that pitching too high could price them out of the market. Alternatively, they may worry that their boss will disagree with the value they place on themselves. Our guide to salary negotiations will help you get paid what you are worth.

Be Prepared:

The key to any salary negotiation is to be prepared. Get all your facts and figures organized in advance. You can then rely on them during your discussions. Find out what other people with your skills or in similar roles are being paid, in your own organization and other local companies. Make a list of all the skills you possess and your achievements. Have a clear figure in your mind that you want to earn before you begin the negotiation.

Make an Appointment:

It is much harder for a manager to turn to down a request for a salary increase if the request is made face-to-face. In contrast, a letter or email can easily be rejected. When you make an appointment with your boss to discuss your salary, be sure to pick an appropriate time. Avoid times when your boss is likely to be distracted or busy with other priorities to ensure that you receive his full attention.

Existing Employees:

Begin by outlining your case for a higher salary. List all of your skills, attributes and achievements. Then clearly state the amount that you are looking for. Be calm and logical in your presentation. Once you have finished, allow your boss to respond. If he is not prepared for your request, he may need time to think about it. If he does, ensure that you agree a date and time for the next meeting before you leave the office.

If your boss says no, try to remain positive. Ask your boss what you can do in the future that will change the situation. Are there extra responsibilities that he needs you to take on or do you need to acquire new skills?

New Hires:

If you are negotiating a salary at the end of a recruitment process, consider using a slightly different approach in the meeting. Rather than stating the salary that you are looking for, ask the hiring manager what level of salary they are prepared to offer. If it is lower than you were hoping, you can then ask if there is any flexibility with that figure and what it would take to increase it to the salary you want.

Know When to Walk Away:

Even if your manager agrees with your position, he may not be able to pay you the salary that you are looking for due to financial constraints. If you are not offered a salary that meets your expectations, be prepared to walk away from the negotiation. At this stage, you may have to dust off your resume and start job hunting if you want to secure a salary that reflects your worth.