What if having one conversation with your boss could make you $10K?
In the Jan. 31 Wine & Learn event “How To Negotiate Without Losing Friends, Fans, Or Job Offers”, Financial Gym explained negotiation tactics that have actually worked for their clients. One of these clients is Kate, who went from earning $60K to $70K at her job after a successful negotiation.
Moderated by Financial Gym founder / CEO Shannon McLay and Belma McCaffrey from Work Bigger, they explained that one of the easiest ways to make more money at your job is through negotiation.
Why is negotiation important?
Shannon: “You need to be an advocate for yourself. Negotiating is a muscle you have to work. It takes time and practice; the more you do it, the easier it gets.”
Belma: “We tend to perceive our circumstances as fixed. Having options through negotiation can help change your circumstances.”
Shannon presented real case studies from Financial Gym on three clients who asked for more – and got it.
1. Meet Kate: Current Job Negotiation
Kate’s annual review was coming up at her job but she didn’t think it was necessary to ask for a raise. She told herself, “I’ve only been there for a year” and “It’s a small company” as reasons why she shouldn’t ask for more money.
Take Action: After speaking with Financial Gym, Kate was encouraged to look at websites like Glassdoor to see the pay scale for similar roles in her industry. Usually, it’s best to ask for more than the amount of money that you want since your employer will likely counter with something lower. In Kate’s case though, she asked for an extra $10K and received $10K.
Shannon’s Takeaway: “How many storylines do you have that you’ll negotiate for the company instead of yourself? You are your own company. Sometimes your manager just needs to be reminded about all the good work you’ve done.”
Belma’s Takeaway: “How are you bringing value to your company? Bring a list of reasons to show how you’re going beyond expectations in your role.”
2. Meet Megan: Current / New Job Negotiation
Megan worked as an Executive Assistant for 10 years at a law firm, where she was making $65K. She originally thought that she was comfortable where she was, but realized it was time for a change.
Take Action: Financial Gym spoke with Megan about how her salary should reflect the fact that she’s assisting attorneys on high-level work and has done so for a decade. Megan decided to ask her firm for $85K and they said no. She had a job offer from another law firm which came in at $75K. The third-party recruiter Megan was working with told her to be grateful for what she was offered. Megan then asked for $85K at the second law firm and ended up with $82,500. Her former firm never countered. Shannon’s Takeaway: “When the company says there’s a budget for a role, don’t believe them. Usually there’s always some flexibility. Additionally, when you’re dealing with a recruiter it’s easy to feel like they’re on your side. Remember that the recruiter gets paid by the company, not by you – and their payment is often based on how much money they’re saving the company.”Belma’s Takeaway: “The best time to find a job is when you have a job. Leverage is so important. If you have another job or another job offer, that puts you in a position of power.”
3. Meet Jillian: Current Job Negotiation
Jillian is one of the OG Financial Gym clients, working with Shannon for over four years. During Jillian’s annual review, she learned that her raise was 1-2%. She was disappointed with the results.
Take Action: Shannon spoke with Jillian and told her to convey her disappointment to her employer. While explaining to her boss why she deserved more, Jillian ended up crying - but by the end of the conversation, she made a $5K bonus. Shannon’s Takeaway: “Who cares if she cried? She made the bonus! If you’re disappointed, express it. You’re allowed to be disappointed. However, it’s better to have expectations set before the raise discussion.”Belma’s Takeaway: “So they said no initially? No big deal. Negotiation can take several steps.”
Negotiation starts with identifying your financial needs and how that fits into your career trajectory. But the bottom line is, always ask. Silent mouths don’t get fed.
As Shannon says, “We have to have a path to more.”