WHETHER YOU ARE LOOKING TO UP YOUR TOTAL COMPENSATION package with your next career move or are
seeking a raise that goes beyond the typical cost-of-living increase, securing a larger salary can be an exercise
in the art of negotiation.
Prospective employees considering a position with a new company, as well as those looking for a
raise should consider their total compensation package, including bonuses, commissions, health insurance, medical
and dependent care spending accounts, profit sharing, paid vacation, stock options and other offerings. "Look at
the total compensation picture before you start to negotiate your paycheck," said Allen Salikof, president and
CEO at MRI. "All of these benefits can impact one's total financial picture - never evaluate your salary in a
vacuum. If you are working with a recruiter in a new job search, he or she can assist in the negotiating process,
particularly in terms of assessing your market value."
Tips for Negotiating a Salary Increase
- Do your homework. Investigate what other companies are paying their employees in like
positions. Talk to recruiters, review help wanted ads, review salary surveys published in
regional or national magazines, consult trade groups or associations, peruse the Internet.
- Assess your true value. Take a good look at your skills, talents and contributions to the
job. Have you saved your company money? Improved a process? Reached a sales goal? Assess your
successes to make a strong case for more money.
- Be your own advocate. Be sure your superiors or potential new boss know about your
accomplishments. This is no time to be modest.
- Plan ahead. If you are seeking a raise, let your boss know you would like to discuss this
issue in advance of scheduled performance review periods so you can give him or her a peek
at what you would be looking for from the next raise. Ask for a meeting to conduct a
pre-review review, for example.
- It's not too late. If performance reviews have already been completed, ask your employer for
a merit increase or an accelerated performance review that can be retroactive based on your
having met agreed upon objectives.
- Wait your turn. When interviewing for a new job, do not raise the issue of salary until your
prospective employer puts a bona fide offer on the table first. This is not only considered
proper interviewing etiquette, but it also gives you the advantage by knowing first where to
- Explore your options. Consider other job opportunities and be prepared to leave your current
job if you do not get what you ask for.
"In the end, if you are not offered the salary or increase you were looking for, find out what
you would need to do to make it happen. However, you must consider the intangibles," added Salikof. "Waking up and
looking forward to going to one's job is priceless."