It's a fact that there are countless recommendations to overview when it comes to preparing for a negotiation, and it's by no means a one-size-fits-all approach. We've already covered a plethora of ways to prepare yourself in the first three parts of this series, and now the groundwork is done, it's time to overview the final preparation.
I've put together some of the main preparatory points that I see time and time again being successful. If you can cover the following combined with undertaking the activities in the previous articles in this guide, you should have the tools to successfully negotiate.
If you've not read the previous articles, take a look at them here:
Part 1 – How to Appraise Your Market Value
Part 3 - Negotiating a New Job Offer
Know what's important to you and have multiple proposals at your disposal
At this point, you should know what is important to you in this negotiation. You'll already have a clear view of where you are currently and what you're looking for, so remain true to this. Don't forget having multiple proposals in your armoury is never a bad thing - being over-prepared in this situation will always work more in your favour than the opposite.
Be in the right mindset to navigate the situation
When thinking about the negotiation itself, I would not underestimate the importance of being in the right mindset. Ensure that you feel comfortable with what you're presenting. Ideally, this will be reinforced by the previous activities and advice outlined in this guide.
Gathered evidence of your successes and practice articulating the value you add
You'll have already gathered the evidence of your previous successes, but you must make sure that you've practised articulating this. In my experience, those who can portray successes and articulate their value-add succinctly are the most successful in practice. Practice being the opportune word, practice, practice, practice. You can speak this aloud or voice it to a mentor, confidant, or friend if you'd like - make sure that you feel confident, calm and considered in your approach. Again, the more comfortable you are, the easier the conversation.
Practice pitching your future with the company, remembering it is not just about the past
Don't forget it's not all about the past. Think of Sheryl Sandberg's I-We strategy outlined in part 2 of this guide. What will you bring to the future of the organisation? What will you bring to the future of your role? The future is just as important as the past in a negotiation scenario. Again, remember to practice how you articulate this.
Remind yourself this is a business decision
It's easy to forget that a negotiation is a business decision, as in many cases, it can feel extremely personal. This guide has shown you how to lay down the facts, present a business case and proceed to negotiate. When entering into a negotiation, it is wise to prepare for all outcomes. If this is not the best time for the business, they may say so. Thankfully, you'll be able to articulate where you want to be and should be able to converse on the next steps to get you there. Remember that decisions made are business decisions.
Practice negotiating consistently
I've already outlined the importance of practice, but keep going - make sure you're practising consistently and keeping your practice up to date, adding new achievements and successes and altering your goals as they develop throughout your career.
Quash the negatives
Lastly, try to remain positive. When you're in a good mood, you're generally more open, flexible and creative - and don't forget to stay authentic to yourself. Quash any negative thoughts about negotiation - keep in mind that you are not greedy in asking for what you want.
Don't forget to consider job titles and status
Another essential factor when looking at your current position instead of where you want to be is your job title. People often overlook updating their job title when negotiating a pay rise, but it does impact your future value internally and externally. A job title signals status and can make it easier for you to have the influence required to do your job better. It is often one of the first things a recruiter will search for, and it is the obvious way to demonstrate progression and justify your market worth.
Do you want to negotiate a job title with salary? If you don't think you have the right job title now, be prepared to show how a new one relates to your job description and how your role has changed since you started in your current position.
Other things to consider include
How will a new job title allow you to do your job better?
What job title best reflects your skills, expertise, and status?
Why would my boss say yes to this?
How will this benefit the business?
If you are offered a promotion with no pay rise, be grateful for the opportunity, but remember to bring up your package. If you cannot get a pay rise, ask why and agree on a date for a salary review.
Work out the fastest way forwards in your career
Evaluate yourself with the market
Seek feedback and advice
Lay the groundwork
Prepare for the negotiation
Seek out additional responsibility
Consider your package in full
Address your job title
Expect this to be a quick process
Threaten to leave
Wait until the annual review time
Compare yourself to colleagues
Fail to prepare
Assume you're entitled to this
Accept a job or promotion without negotiating
Above all, good luck!
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