What are the top three things that would make life easier for you? My guess is that at least one of those things is more money. Even if you’re not broke, more money can provide a better lifestyle, more opportunities for your family, and more vacation time for you at the beach.
What’s your own plan to increase your personal financial value? You probably have a full time job, a savings account, and investments (like your home or 401-K) that you hope will grow over time.
Most likely, your #1 source of income right now is your full time job. How much has your income, or salary, from that full time job grown per year in the last 10 years? If you’re like many people, you’ve been getting somewhere in ballpark of 1% more to 3% more each year.
It’s like pocket change. Your boss has shared stories like, “the economy is down and this is all we can afford” or, “I had hoped to give you more, but this is all that I’m allowed to give for now.” It feels frustrating, but you’ve learned to accept it. After all, you’ve been hearing the same story for years.
Frankly, these tiny raises may not even keep up with inflation over time. At some point, you look back and realize you’re making more or less the same amount of money that you were 10 years ago. You start to wonder how you’ll ever retire comfortably or achieve your other personal financial goals.
Well, I have a tip I want you to consider. It could change your life. It’s quick, fairly painless, and takes just a few minutes. With this one change, you might breathe a little easier. And, you might actually get to take that vacation you’ve been dreaming of.
As I’ve touched on before, in today’s job market, employees no longer stay at one job forever. Most people are switching jobs every 3 to 5 years, so there’s little incentive for your employer to give you sizable raises.
What’s this big life changing advice you wonder?
Learn to negotiate.
Many of my clients have always either accepted or rejected job offers they’ve received. This is the norm for most job seekers. They basically either say yes or no, but nothing in between. Keep in mind that a company almost never puts their best job offer on the table right away. They’re expecting you to negotiate, so they’re saving the best offer for when you do.
And, in the small chance that the company has presented their best offer first, they’ll tell you. If you’ve started your negotiation in a reasonable and respectful way, what they won’t do is take it off the table. It’s just up to you at that point to decide if you’re willing to take their first offer.
The point is, there’s little downside to asking for more. You may not always get as much as you ask for, but there’s a pretty good chance you’ll get more than was originally offered. If you ask.
Think about it this way: At an annual increase of 2%, it would take you over ten years to grow your salary by 25%. When you change companies, you can increase your salary overnight. The salary negotiation is typically over the phone or via e-mail, and takes about 10 minutes.
Sure, that 10 minutes might be a little uncomfortable. You might feel worried. But, ask yourself these two questions:
- What’s the worst that can happen? They might say no, and not give you what you asked for. You’ll now have to decide if you still want the original offer.
- What’s the best that can happen? They say yes, and give you more! And, suddenly, you’ve received multiple years worth of raises all in one 10-minute phone call.
If it sounds simple, it’s because it is. Most people don’t try because they’re scared, or they don’t know they can. Keep in mind that being really good at negotiation takes practice. But, being decent enough to get a little more money is something you can do right now.
Just remember to be respectful in your negotiations. These discussions are sensitive, and you definitely don’t want to damage your business relationship with your future employer.
That said, your future company EXPECTS you to negotiate. They will respect you for it, and chances are, they will in fact offer you more money. All in a 10 minute phone call.
I hope these tips have helped you. Visit CopelandCoaching.com to find more tips to improve your job search.
Author: Angela Copeland
Angela Copeland is Founder and Coach for Copeland Coaching, a great way to jump start your job search. Follow her on Twitter @CopelandCoach for tips on finding the perfect job for you.