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  • Linda R. Taliaferro

How to Negotiate and Get that Raise

For many of us, we didn't grow up with a model of executive success close by. Our parents and relatives were hard working and certainly taught us skills that have benefited our careers, but if you’re like me, you didn’t come out of the box knowing how to negotiate a salary.

Even if you're hustling and doing well in your career for years, you may not have a great framework for how to negotiate your salary. It’s awkward, personal, and high stakes, so how can we get better at it?

Recently on Being Brown at Work Live, I had the pleasure of speaking to an incredible career coach named Claudia Miller. We had a fascinating conversation, and I’ve pulled out a few key tips she shared during our conversation to help you negotiate with ease.

Here’s what she said:

Remember that you have the power to negotiate.

It’s key to remember that you almost always can negotiate, whether you’re negotiating a new offer or a raise. Don't self-select out! Some folks don't know that you can negotiate rather than just wait around for a promotion.

The first step comes from recognizing your power and your leverage. Your company will have to pay far more to find and hire someone to replace you; they would much rather you stay at your current position. You have power, and negotiation isn't "mean" or ungrateful, it’s a part of doing business, and it’s truly not personal.

You can negotiate both salary and benefits.

If your company is telling you that you can only get an 8% raise, for example, and that "their hands are tied" on moving up any further in salary, remember that salary isn't the only part of your compensation package.

If they can't go up in base salary, you can negotiate for more time off, better benefits, stock options, or any other non-salary assets that can increase your compensation package. Think big picture, not just in terms of the salary they’re offering.

The goal is fair market value.

Salary negotiations are often emotional, because you're settling on what your company thinks you are "worth." It can feel intense! But remember that your goal is to secure a fair market rate for your labor. That’s all it’s about. Your goal is to charge what the market will pay for your expertise, not a rate determined by what you're currently making.

Do your due diligence.

If you were selling your home, you would have it appraised so you could list it at the right price. When you're looking for a raise, remember that you are far more valuable than a house. Go out and do your research! Appraise your own salary by seeing what's out there for similar positions in your area. Even if your company gives raises at a fixed rate per year, that doesn’t mean that’s what your labor could appraise for.

These were just a few of the helpful pieces of wisdom shared by Claudia Miller, so don’t forget to check out the episode to hear the full conversation.

Or if you’re looking for guidance in your career journey, or you don’t know where to start, you might benefit from one-on-one coaching. Click here to get a consultation with me on your calendar, and we can talk about your career goals in the new year.

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