Tips for women to negotiate a raise at work

- According to a recent survey by Levo, more than 60 percent of women said they didn't feel comfortable negotiating job offers or a raise -- and that could be a costly mistake.

Celia Ward-Wallace, a co-founder of the Women's Financial Education Company "The Sacred CEO," offered five things you need to know to get yourself the best deal.

1: PREPARATION

Preparation is key to successfully negotiating a raise. Take the time to learn the market value of the work you do. Research how much others in your position are paid at similar companies in your area. In order to successfully negotiate your raise your boss needs to know who you are and understand just how instrumental you are to the company’s success. Look for opportunities to take the lead, do not deflect praise in meetings saying “it was a team effort” and make a list of your accomplishments and the benefits to your job to share in your meeting about your raise.

2: REQUEST A MEETING (1 MONTH BEFORE)

Officially schedule a meeting with your boss to discuss your performance. Do not “drop by” without an appointment to discuss your raise or bring it up in passing conversation. Make sure there is a designated time arranged so your boss can be present and prepared.

3: PRACTICE YOUR PITCH (1 MONTH BEFORE)

Create a one-page summary for your meeting. Include any of the projects you were in charge of, the outcomes and the financial benefit to the company. Also break down the raise package you have in mind including your desired salary and any other benefits you would like to include.

Be prepared to discuss the items on the prep-sheet as well as provide a professional copy of this to your boss. Additionally, practice with friends and family as much as possible explaining the reason for the meeting, your key accomplishments for the past year and also the salary and benefits you are asking for.

4:  NEGOTIATE, NEGOTIATE NEGOTIATE

One key to a successful negotiation is training your brain to be comfortable. Assume your salary is negotiable, you don’t have to accept the first offer your receive. The key is to start high with the salary and benefits you request. Go for a salary that is on the upper end of what others in your profession are paid. Go back to your research and pick the salary goal that is on the high end for those in comparable positions. The higher your goals are, the better the outcome. Ask for more and you’ll get more. It’s that simple.

5: INNOVATE WITH OPTIONS

Include more in your raise proposal than just your salary. Create a package with different aspects to negotiate such as bonuses, vacation and sick time stock options, work from home days, etc. This way you create multiple items to negotiate over so both parties have wiggle room to feel like they made a good deal. It isn’t an all or nothing approach based on salary alone. With this approach you can give in more on some items than others and your boss will feel that you were “cooperative."

More: www.celiawardwallace.com

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