2,4,6,8, It's Time To Negotiate!
Ah, corporate life. Yes, you like your job fine. You're even making a decent salary with good benefits. But everyone wants to have more money...so how do you go about getting it?
If you feel like something is lacking, ask for it...and don't be shy about doing it! But before you do, spend some time getting prepared. After all, you can't negotiate until you know the following:
What's the procedure here? Find out how your company does job evaluations. Do you have to wait till you've been there a year? Are raises given at any time, or only after an evaluation? You may also want to know if you can get a title bump without more pay, or vice versa.
What are my peers making? Take a look at salary.com or monster.com for the average salaries of other people with your position, background and geographic location. This will help you know if your compensation expectations are too low, too high or right on target.
What will I say? Practice your pitch with someone who's negotiating skills you admire. Make sure you know what you're asking for and why, and have the other person ask you some tough questions about why you think you deserve what it is you're seeking. Get your answers together before you do it for real!
When will I walk away? In any negotiation, the hardest part is knowing what you'll do if you're met with a negative outcome. What will you do if you don't get what you want? Be sure you know what is the least you can live with and still be happy/productive. Otherwise, you'll just be right back where you started and won't have a leg to stand on in the future.
You can do this! If you're good at your job, the rewards (fiscal and otherwise) will come. Work on your negotiating skills, and become more confident that you can ask for exactly what you deserve!