Over the course of my career, I’ve had to learn a few lessons about salary expectations and negotiations.
One story that sticks out in my mind happened a few years ago when a young man on my team asked for a meeting. He wanted to discuss his salary. In the meeting he talked about the fact that his rent had gone up and he could no longer afford it. He was taking care of his sister and he needed to buy a car. Bottom line, his salary was not enough and he wanted a raise. I empathized with his situation but my answer to him was no. He was very surprised. He said “but I’ve explained to you all my issues. This salary is not enough to take care of all my commitments” My response was this. I cannot and will not give you a salary increase because of your personal commitments. The conversation you should be having with me, if you want a raise, must be tied to your business performance. Tell me how you have outperformed on your business objectives (he had) how you are taking on additional responsibilities (he was) and then we can talk. The following day, we had another meeting and his approach was completely different. We discussed his performance and the projects he was working on and the best part? He did some research to show what the typical salary was for his position. He got his raise.
Even though money can be a very emotional issue, your salary discussion should never be. It’s important to gather the facts and make a good case. The facts can only be related to your business performance because while your boss may feel bad about your personal situation, it cannot form the basis for a raise.
The other takeaway from this story? When faced with rejection, he came back with a different approach, tried again and was successful. He didn’t get upset. He took the feedback and made the necessary adjustments. He didn’t take no for an answer.
Have a GREAT week!