Shyness doesn’t disappear once you age out of recess and locker assignments. But, you wouldn’t know that from most career advice, which often seems geared toward people who are one pep talk away from claiming their spot in the corner office. (Or at least, the spot nearest the window in the open office.)
Salary negotiation is particularly tricky for the socially anxious and/or conflict avoidant. Tips for introverts sometimes offer useful strategies, but not every introvert is a shy person, or vice versa.
If the thought of asking for the salary you deserve makes your palms sweat, PayScale’s Salary Negotiation Guide has advice that can help.
Do your research.
This is good advice for everyone, really, but for shy people, preparation can be the key to gaining confidence (as well as a better bargaining position). Take PayScale’s Salary Survey and get a free report with salary ranges appropriate for your role, experience, education, and location. Then use Mark Anthony Dyson’s article, More Data, Less Worry: How to Negotiate Your Salary in 5 Easy Steps, to plan your strategy.
Write a script.
Research is the first stage; the next is planning what you want to say. Of course, you’ll need to be flexible once you’re discussing the matter with your manager. But having a salary negotiation script — or a few, in case you need to switch tactics — can go a long way toward feeling making you feel more comfortable during the conversation.
Understand the context.
Before you even request a meeting to discuss compensation, make sure you’re looking at the big picture. If your company isn’t doing well financially, for example, your manager probably can’t increase your pay. It also helps to understand your company’s compensation philosophy. How do they use their compensation budget to drive business results?
Prepare a fallback request.
Let’s say you knew for sure that you weren’t getting a raise. What else would you ask for? Sometimes, more time off or other perks or benefits can be as good as more money in the bank. (Bonus points if they actually save you money in the bank.)
In a pinch, consider asking via email.
Negotiating in person is best when you’re already working for a company — and often when you’re in the job searching stage. However, there are times when it’s OK to negotiate a new job offer over email. If you’re a shy person, that’s very good news. Here’s how to tell if you can get away with it.
Tell Us What You Think
What other tips would add, for your fellow shy negotiators? We want to hear from you. Tell us your thoughts in the comments or join the conversation on Twitter.