We all know salary negotiations aren't the most comfortable thing in the world. They're awkward, for one. And there's always the fear they could get a little heated. Maybe your boss is intimidating and aggressive. Or maybe you're feeling resentful that you haven't yet been rewarded for all of your hard work. The trick is to stay in control — and now research has confirmed that an even keel actually affects outcomes.
Several studies have found that anger — whether felt by you or the other party in your negotiation — will lead to a less profitable back-and-forth, reports Science of Us.
The takeaway? It's essential to come to the negotiating table armed with research, plus a strategy for what to do if it isn't going your way.
1. Time the conversation strategically. Consider the time of year that raises are usually granted at your company so you can get out ahead of any decisions being made. Then schedule a time to talk with your boss when she won't be distracted by competing priorities and can give you her full attention.
2. Make the case for your work. Now is the time to talk about all the accomplishments you've made and how your company has benefitted from them. This should include any particularly stellar performance metrics you've hit. If you've taken on additional responsibilities since you were hired, you'll want to highlight them as well. It helps to jot all of this down throughout the year, noting any praise you've received from your boss and colleagues. That way it's all at your fingertips when you broach the topic of salary.
3. Have a specific number in mind. Do some research to figure out the percentage increase your company typically grants for annual raises. If there's no hard-and-fast rule in place, talk to people in your field to get a better sense of the market value for someone with your level of experience, responsibilities and accomplishments. You'll probably feel much more confident asking for a salary bump if you have the industry-wide data to back it up.
4. As for a raise early on in your career. Research shows that your "salary arc" is shorter than you might think, with almost all income growth taking place in the first 10 years of your career. Plus, the longer you delay the conversation, the more consequential it's going to become — which probably won't do much for helping you maintain a cool head.
So, don't get mad — get money.