Anxious about Negotiating Your Salary? Here's How to Fight It

You've done the research, you've studied every possible avenue, and all the data you've gathered point to one thing—you are grossly underpaid. You understand that to get the salary you deserve it's time to meet with your boss and negotiate. But how can you, when the mere thought of discussing your paycheck evokes a nervous flutter in your gut?

Salary negotiations can be overwhelming for some people. If the thought of facing your higher-ups to discuss raising your salary seems daunting, understand that what you feel is normal, and there are ways to overcome your fear. Use these nine salary negotiation tips from Resumeble career experts to get the income you should be receiving with confidence and aplomb.

1. Focus on facts, not feelings

First from nine salary negotiation tips — you can't enter negotiations without an idea of how much you should be asking for. You certainly don't want to turn the negotiations into a guessing game for all parties involved. This will only make you appear unsure and unprofessional. Know the average salary listed for your location, skills, and experience to support your argument. The more you know your value, the easier it is to be confident with your counter.

Also, remember to keep your emotions out of the conversation. Appealing to feelings never yields good agreements. Stay fact-based and focused on your goal. Once you lose control of your emotions, you may be unable to think clearly and recover.

2. Acknowledge your fear

Don't ignore your trepidations. Instead, acknowledge that you have them. Fear has a way of building up when you hide it. Say your fears aloud or write them down—doing so puts them in the spotlight where you can view them for what they are, and it's easier to conquer an enemy that you can see.

3. Identify what you need

Don't just negotiate to earn more money. Review your regular expenses, including your mortgage, utility bills, car loan, credit card, etc. Think about how your salary is impacting you and your family, and use it to find your purpose for negotiating. Let this purpose guide you with the salary amount that you intend to bring to the table. BUT DON'T MAKE THIS THE FOCUS OF YOUR NEGOTIATION. In fact, it would be better if you didn't mention your financial issues in the negotiation process altogether, as this could make the dialogue awkward. Simply knowing what you need the money for gives you a reason to fight for it.

4. Don't be afraid to involve an expert

To come off as confident and effective, you need a strategy, and a skilled negotiator can help you build a winning gameplan. It's perfectly fine to get help from someone with more experience and knowledge in the salary negotiation process. Remember that even the experts seek the help of their peers. You don't have to go at it alone. By proactively seeking help, you could gain a better perspective on how to play the negotiation game.

5. Learn to think like them

Though it may not seem like it to you, your work has a tangible monetary value. Your employers know it, and you need to see things from their perspective if you want to meet them eye to eye. Justify your request for a raise by providing them with specific details of the value you bring to the company. Make them see the benefits of giving you what you want. For example, if you know the company is struggling in an area that you have expertise in, you can explain how you can help the company with those particular challenges.

6. Rehearse your pitch

One of the best ways to overcome salary negotiation anxiety is by practicing what you're going to say. Find a friend with whom you can rehearse your proposal and play out the negotiation scenario. Formulate your thoughts in advance so you can keep your composure when negotiations are underway. Cover different possibilities, such as them offering you alternatives to an increase so that you can anticipate your reaction. Imagine the worst-case scenario and prepare for it. Even when they reject your proposal, remember that it's not the end of the world and you can still appeal your increase at a future time.

7. Put yourself in the right frame of mind

When all is said and done, all your practice, preparation, and planning will amount to little if you can't muster the confidence and be an effective negotiator. So before scheduling your meeting, you need to do three things: take hold of your emotions, put yourself in a positive mindset, and be sure of yourself. Do whatever works to get your mind in that place—meditation, listening to your favorite music, yoga, exercise—as long as it relaxes you, drives away your fears, and boosts your confidence, do it.

8. Know your bottom line

Whatever figure they come up with, only you can decide whether it's acceptable or not. Remember that if you're presented with a difficult choice, you can always ask for some time to mull it over, then schedule the next meeting and come back with your counter. The most important thing is to stay positive and respectful, no matter the outcome. Be understanding and thankful for the opportunity.

9. Successful or not, treat it as a learning experience

Don't view your salary request as a pass/fail test. You'll only stress yourself out that way. Instead, treat the entire process as a way to discover more about yourself—your strengths, weaknesses, and alternatives. This means accepting that you may not get what you want, and the next time you try, you'll do it a little better.

Final word

Just remember that life doesn't always give handouts, and if you want something, you'll need to work for it. Not to mention, your chances of getting a raise increases when you overcome your fear. This is easier said than done, but it needs to happen if you truly want to earn what you deserve.

Should you feel that you are not earning your worth and can't convince your company of your value, understand that there are plenty of other opportunities out there for you. Let us help you discover them by sending us your resume for a review and update. Our services come with an interview guarantee.

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