The reality for many of us is that when we begin thinking about starting a conversation around asking for a pay increase or negotiating a salary, inevitably if the intention is to do this well, there will be an element of ‘providing a justification’ for such a request. From my own personal experience and from coaching others through this, success has come when we have been able to put together a sound ‘business case’ with plenty of facts and figures explaining in detail why we deserve the extra cash.
And as the years go by and I continue to utilize my own strategies and assist others in doing the same, I realize that the facts and figures are only one part of the equation. When I ask someone who I am coaching to go away and research pay in their field, their industry and in the general market, they come back with a plethora of information, data that prior to our conversation they had told me didn’t exist. (A little nudge in the right direction can work wonders).
In undertaking this exercise, they learn two main things. One, that you can find information on pretty much anything, but you have to trawl through a lot to get to the quality data and two, the very exercise of gathering the data, putting their thoughts in order around the data and then presenting the data generally gives them the boost of confidence they need to even begin considering having the conversation in the first place.
Our beliefs about what is possible are shaped by how big we allow our lives to be. When we limit our lives to what we know (or what we think we know) we don’t give ourselves the opportunity to grow.
By expanding the circle of our life, we create confidence. Confidence that gives us the spurt to embrace the expansion and have the courage to maybe try again with something else new. Facts and figures don’t just provide the ‘evidence’ to support a request; they bolster our emotional muscle to put ourselves in this space in the first place.
So, for all you non-bean counters, laugh if you will, however I intend to continue my not-so-secret affair with facts and figures!
The old adage of, ‘It’s not the destination, but the journey that counts’ is as true for negotiating a salary increase as it is for everything else in life. The women who succeed in applying this philosophy to their salary negotiations realize that who they’re becoming on this journey is far more important that the outcome.
That’s not to say the outcome is not important – it is. The lesson here is in remembering that no matter what happens, it’s absolutely right for you in this moment. So what is this moment teaching you right now?
Our attachment to outcomes and specific outcomes can be our downfall. Our ability to understand and acknowledge that sometimes not getting what we wanted is a blessing in itself is one of life’s biggest lessons. Think back to a time when you didn’t get what you wanted? How did it pan out for you?
Apply this philosophy to your salary negotiation conversations and soon you’ll see that you’re the one with the power – you always have been. Not your employer. You.
Till next time!