As much as we’d like everyone to be paid fairly for their work, the reality is that you often receive what you’re willing to ask for. Negotiating a raise can be intimidating for any young professional, but it’s a skill that you’ll have to learn and practice in order to get paid what you’re worth. Here are a few tips to remember for your next salary or raise negotiation.

The preparation

Before you meet your boss or supervisor to negotiate your raise, it’s important to prepare for the talk in advance. The first step of your preparation should be research. Research the salary range for your specific position- this will give you a good idea of what others in your position are getting paid.

The next thing to research is other benefits (such as medical aid, flexi hours, etc.) that you’d be willing to accept during the negotiation. Your employers may bring this up on the day, so it’s good to familiarise yourself with these terms so you aren’t caught off guard.

You may also want to brush up on your communication skills, as well as remind yourself of some general salary negotiation facts by reading this article.

Finally, set your goal salary and don’t be afraid of aiming high. It’s better to negotiate down from a higher salary, rather than offering a lower salary from the beginning and potentially missing out.

On the day

If you’ve prepared in advance, you’ll already be going into your negotiation more confidently. But no matter how prepared you are, it’s normal to get some jitters beforehand. Here are a few calming techniques you can do on the night before, or morning of your negotiation.

During the meeting itself, make sure that you listen patiently to whoever is speaking and respond to their questions clearly. You know your worth as an employee, so don’t be afraid to express that honestly and confidently.

Following up

After your negotiation is over and you’ve reached a conclusion everyone is happy with, you may feel like that’s the end of the negotiation process- but it’s not. It’s important to follow up for a few reasons. You’ll want to get the agreed upon salary in writing. Remember that no negotiation or talk is valuable until it’s been stipulated in a signed contract.

If the negotiation didn’t go the way you wanted it to, remember that you can always set up another meeting in future when you’ve prepared better, or when it’s a better time. However, remember that there’s a fine balance between being patient and settling for less than you’re worth. You’ll need to monitor the situation and decide the right options for yourself, depending on your situation.

Raise negotiations don’t have to make you feel a pit in your stomach every time. There’s nothing wrong with being paid what you’re worth, so be confident, believe in yourself and practice your negotiation skills. It’ll get easier with time, but until then you’ll have to trust yourself and take the leap. Good luck!

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