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#Ask4More: How to Plan and Prepare for Salary Negotiations

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“Everything is negotiable. Whether or not the negotiation is easy is another thing.” —Carrie Fisher

Now that you know why it’s important to negotiate and to #Ask4more, you should begin the planning process. Negotiating your salary shouldn’t be a spur-of-the-moment thing. It requires a bit of strategic planning. After all, this is your career we’re talking about here! Here’s your opportunity to really ask for what you want. Go in confident and ready to set yourself up for success by following these steps:

  1. Schedule a meeting with your boss ahead of time: This creates a hard deadline for yourself in which you have to prepare.

  2. Be aware of the context: Use your best judgement when scheduling. If there were recent layoffs, or your boss is leaving on vacation that afternoon, it’s probably not the right time to meet. You want him or her to be totally present and engaged.

  3. Set the scene: The meeting will most likely take place in your boss’ office, but if possible, see if you can have the meeting in neutral territory, like a conference room or another room where you may have an easier time standing your ground, suggests Tory Johnson of Women for Hire.

  4. Don’t wing it! Do your research: Think of it like you’re preparing a pitch for a client, but what you’re pitching is you:

  • Quantify your accomplishments: You should always keep track of any accomplishments at work. Did you head up a project? Did you recruit an amazing employee? Did you woo that unattainable client? Try keeping a work journal and logging both daily tasks and big wins.

  • Use benchmarks: Use sites like Glassdoor or PayScale to compare your salary to others in your industry with your experience. Don’t just ask your friends! Whitney Johnson, founding partner of Rose Park Advisors and frequent Harvard Business Review contributor says, “If you are negotiating for a better salary and you only talk to women, you are for sure going to lowball yourself.”

Watch the clip from Pretty Woman where Julia Roberts flawlessly negotiates to her biggest payday ever!

To learn more about Equal Pay Day and Levo’s #Ask4More campaign, click here.

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