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Here’s the right way to ask for a raise

This story is part Power money movesCNET’s coverage of smart financial decisions for today’s ever-changing world.

As inflation continues to soar, US households are paying hundreds of dollars more every month essentially. If bringing in extra cash is a priority, you might consider a sideways scramble. But if you’ve been waiting a long time for a raise, now might be a good time to talk to your boss, especially with the mid-year exams taking place right now.

Successfully negotiating your next pay rise or promotion isn’t just about the words you choose. That’s important, but so is cultivating your relationships and doing the groundwork to help close the deal. I caught up with Alexandra Carter, a Columbia law professor and author of the Wall Street Journal bestseller, Ask For More: 10 Questions to Negotiate Anything, to discuss how to prepare for a raise in 2022.

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Know your value, including your replacement cost

When negotiating your salary, you want to emphasize the contributions you have made. Remind your manager of the value you bring to the table, such as increased productivity, increased revenue, meeting goals ahead of time.

Also, be sure to review the salary data for your role. In today’s climate, you should be aware that you may already be saving your employer money by not leaving. Indeed, it is expensive for companies to search for new talent, interview candidates and train new employees.

“Rollover is expensive, both in terms of time and money. An employee who earns $36,000 costs about $12,000 to replace, what if you earn $150,000? Carter said. “Your company will have to spend $50,000 to find your replacement and update it.”

It can be difficult to start salary negotiations without another job offer on the table, so if you know that sticking with your company saves them tens of thousands of dollars, that can be a powerful argument in your favor. .

Time your trading for maximum effect

It’s always important to properly plan your salary discussion. One strategy is to take advantage of “high leverage” moments — the successes and victories you’ve achieved on behalf of your company — to share your compensation goals with your supervisor.

Also, remember that most salary negotiations aren’t just a conversation. “Think of it as a political campaign,” Carter said. “If performance reviews are in March, you’re not starting your campaign then. Put your request on the table early, while the company makes budget decisions and allocates dollars for the upcoming fiscal year. .”

Know that negotiation is a team sport

A key part of negotiating is getting feedback from your allies and advocates. Before the negotiation, be sure to meet with the people who know your job best, who will support you and provide you with honest assessments of your goals. Think of it like coordinating a campaign: what input and guidance will help you achieve your goals?

“Talk to people who might be allies and advocates for you, and ask for their input on how to phrase your request to your manager,” Carter said. “That way, on decision day, if all goes according to plan, your manager will not only hear your case, but also ‘an ‘echo chamber’ of people saying how valuable you are.”

It also means being a team player and thinking about who you can support in their career goals. “When we support each other, it’s possible for all of us to get where we want to go,” Carter said.

Lead with open-ended questions

Negotiations can be powerful when conducted with open questions rather than arguments. In fact, you could make more money with this technique. In formulating your questions, make sure you know the company’s priorities and fully understand your manager’s goals, needs and concerns. Powerful open-ended questions often begin with “What”, “How” or “Tell me…”

Here are some examples :

  • “What are your goals for our team/department/company for the coming year?”
  • “How can I best help achieve them? »
  • “What would a successful year look like for us?”

Consider your non-monetary needs

A Harvard Business Review study on the recent wave of quits suggests that, for many people, factors other than money are just as important, if not more so, to their overall job satisfaction. In fact, a Glassdoor report shows that company culture and values, quality of senior management, and career opportunities are the best predictors of employee satisfaction.

Carter suggests making a list of your career needs for 2022. “For some, compensation will be paramount. For others, flexibility is of the utmost importance.” Essentially, she says, figure out what takes priority to guide your approach. Before your negotiations, take the time to think about the specifics of what you value most, such as:

  • Borders: Arguably the most important request is to negotiate your limits. Especially in light of the burnout caused by the past two years of the pandemic, setting clear boundaries around the hours you work and the scope of your work will help you build a lasting career.
  • To access: Think about the tools, information and resources you need to reach your highest levels. Negotiating access will affect your daily workplace, allowing you to gain autonomy and confidence within your organization.
  • Support: You can and should negotiate with your workplace to ensure you have the support and resources you need to succeed in your job, from professional organizations or additional training. For example, Carter suggests that women negotiate for their companies to pay for membership in organizations that support and connect professional women — such as Luminary in New York or the CREW Network — to access women-centric spaces that empower them. will enable them to be equipped and supported as leaders.

Complete your negotiations with a hard-hitting question

Finally, Carter advocates concluding your negotiation by asking one final question that summarizes your salary goal. This question should be an open-ended question, not one that is easy to answer yes or no, because the easy answer is “no”.

So avoid asking questions like, “Can we raise my salary?” or “Are there salary increases built into the budget?”

Instead, opt for open-ended questions that recruit your company’s participation to help you get a raise and establish that you and your manager are both on the same team. This might mean asking, “What do we need to show to justify a 20% increase?” or “How can we ensure my compensation reflects the value I bring to our highest institutional priority?”

This can help you know what your company is looking for in order to promote you or pay you more money, and give you a clearer roadmap to follow to get a raise on your next exam.

“When you ask powerful questions, you negotiate from a place of strength as well as collaboration – which increases the chances that you will end 2022 with more money in your pocket.”

What if your raise negotiations fail?

If your negotiations aren’t earning you a raise, Carter advises asking questions that can generate actionable and helpful answers from your manager. Here are some examples :

  • What was the concern?
  • Why was it not possible?
  • What can we do between now and the next promotion cycle to change this result?
  • How can I help you build my case?

Getting actionable answers to these questions can help you uncover the skills you need to work on. You may even discover that a raise is in your near future, but not right now.

However, if you receive vague responses like “Hold on!” or “It’s coming soon!” consider looking at other career options and create your own opportunities. After all, the job market is booming and an outside offer could help your current company see your full value – it also gives you the edge when negotiating.

If your negotiations are successful, be sure to review your retirement savings strategy and consider adding more money to each paycheck to employer matching plans. You may also want to explore other investment opportunities to help make your money growwhile planning your future.

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