Negotiation: An Introvert's Perspective
Negotiating your salary can be a terrifying prospect if you are an introvert. It requires you to climb out on a limb and go beyond the boundaries of your comfort zone. You walk into your boss's office with sweaty palms and the door closes awkwardly behind you. BOOM! It's show time. You begin to speak and you stutter, tripping over your own damn tongue, as perspiration drips from your forehead. Then you freeze, straining your brain muscles trying to remember what you wanted to say. You pray to some great deity that you will some how manage to land on your feet without botching your one and only chance to negotiate the paycheck you deserve.
Does this anguishing scenario sound familiar? If the idea of negotiating your salary or asking for a raise induces panic attacks, here are four tips for you.
1. Don't be afraid to ask
You will not get fired for asking for a bump in pay (and if you do, believe me, that is not a place where you want to continue working anyway). PayScale research shows that 75% of the people who asked for a raise received some type of salary increase. If you truly believe that you are worth more than your current salary and overdue for a raise, then be brave. It PAYS to ask!
Do your homework! Take the PayScale Salary Survey to determine the appropriate salary range for your position. Talk to your peers. Keep in mind that many factors affect pay including the company location and size. Large organizations typically pay higher than small businesses. Of course your education, skills and experience will also come in to play. Consider all of these factors before asking for a raise.
Schedule a meeting with your boss in advance. You don't necessarily need to let the cat out of the bag, but you also don't want to put him or her on the spot. Say that you want to talk about your career growth and goals. Create an outline of what you want to say. Reflect on what you did over the last quarter, six months or year that made a significant impact on the business. Come up with three to five concrete accomplishments and state how they grew the business. (For example, I am 137% ahead of quota. I negotiated a lucrative business development deal. I learned a new skill etc.)
Prepare! Make an outline of what you want to say, but avoid sounding scripted. Remember, it's a conversation and there is a natural ebb and flow. If you rely too much on your script, one random question from your boss could derail the entire conversation. The catch is to practice but to not over rehearse. Try practicing in front of a mirror or filming yourself until you feel comfortable and confident.
If you truly believe that you are worth more than you are currently being compensated, then it's time to take the bull by the horns. Ask for that raise! Do your homework, prepare and practice, and go in to your boss's office exuding confidence. Remember to aim high but remain flexible. It's a good idea to have a bottom line that you are not willing to compromise. If that number is reasonable and cannot be met by your employer, then it may be time to start looking for a new job.
About the Author
Brian Steel is the Social Media Marketing Manager at PayScale.com and an admitted introvert. He holds a Master’s Degree in Communications from the University of Washington where he also teaches Digital Marketing Analytics. When he is not busy Tweeting, Facebooking, Instagraming or teaching you might find him playing music around the greater Seattle area.