Looking to negotiate a new salary or get a raise? Expert says it's all about preparation, approach

Posted at 6:26 AM, Nov 05, 2021

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Economists are calling it “The Great Resignation.” According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 4,000,000 Americans quit their jobs in July of this year.

Labor experts are now advising companies on how to keep employees who’ve maybe had a change of heart or passion for their current position. One of the big reasons people tend to quit is compensation.

So, as the end of the year approaches, if you’re negotiating a salary at a new job, or wanting to ask for a raise at your current one — negotiation expert, Fotini Iconomopoulos, says it’s all about preparation and approach.

“Make sure you know what the going rates are, because they have gone up in many industries,” Iconomopoulos says. “Make sure you know how you compare to other people in the market. What experience do you have? What education do you bring? Whatever you're bringing to the table, make sure that you have factored that in.”

Iconomopoulos says by doing that you sound very credible and objective. It doesn't sound like your opinion. It’s fine to say “here's what I would expect for somebody with my experience level with my expertise. How close can you get to that figure?”

Iconomopoulos says. By asking that, it makes it more of a collaborative process. Sites like "Glassdoor" can be a good resource to get an idea of salary ranges for your particular position in a company, as employees are typically self-reporting those numbers. Recruiters can also be a resource.

Perhaps surprisingly, the old adage that it’s easier to get a job when you have a job might be out the window — at least for now. Iconomopoulos notes that because of COVID-19, more employers are more understanding if you’ve been on the sidelines after leaving your previous position.

Now, if you’re currently in a job, and looking for a salary increase, she says similar rules apply. Start the conversation simply since you already have trust between you and your supervisor. Keep what Iconomopoulos calls a “feel good” folder containing notes of praise, testimony and your accomplishments throughout the year.

Try to quantify what you’ve done rather than simply say you’re a good employee. Know what’s happening in the market and what your position might be compensating at other companies.

Lastly, "no" is not the end of the negotiation, Iconomopoulos says it is just the start. If your boss says "not right now" in regards to an increase in compensation — it’s OK to ask when will be the right time. Ask what some of the markers of success for the company might be for you to approach a salary raise again.