- Rachel Bitte
Not everyone is a natural negotiator.
In fact, the prospect of asking for stuff at work – whether it’s a higher starting salary, a bonus, or extra perks – can be downright terrifying for some people.
She broke down three things we should all ask ourselves before beginning a negotiation.
These three questions could seriously boost your chances of getting what you want:
1. ‘What am I worth?’
Not knowing your market value is a major career hurdle, especially when it comes to negotiating a salary. If you go into the wage negotiation blind, you risk bungling the whole process.
And you can even try digging deeper than an internet search.
“In the world that we live in now, there’s lots of data that’s out there to get a good idea,” Bitte tells Business Insider. “You can also get the data just by interviewing. See what companies are willing to offer you.”
2. ‘Why am I nervous?’
If you’re feeling anxious about an upcoming negotiation, don’t brush those feelings aside.
“Find out what it is that makes you personally uncomfortable with negotiating,” Bitte says.
She says that many people struggle with feeling like they’re not “good enough” to ask for a raise or a higher salary. It’s a problem that especially affects women, because “advocating for higher pay would present a socially difficult situation for them,” according to the Harvard Business Review.
“Ask yourself, ‘Why am I hesitant?'” she says. “What is your barrier? If you can figure out the ‘why’ on that then you can start to adjust.”
You can combat self-doubt by keeping records on your workplace achievements and praise from bosses. You should also strive to get a pep talk from your supporters before your negotiation session.
“This is when you’ve got to surround yourself with people who do really think you’re the best and can tell you why and boost your self-esteem to a healthy spot,” Bitte says. “Go talk to people who think you’re great.”
3. ‘What do I really want?’
Lastly, before you ask for something, it helps to determine whether or not you really want it. And, remember, your big requests don’t necessarily have to be related to your salary.
“It may be time off,” Bitte says. “It may be flexibility in your work schedule because you’ve got an aging parent you’re taking care of or you’re going to be a new parent.”
It’s important to be honest with yourself about what you really want. And that way, if a pay bump just isn’t in the cards, you’ll automatically have some other requests to fall back on.