539: How to Get a Raise When You Negotiate Your Next Role


on this episode

When you receive a job offer, whether that’s for a career change or even an internal promotion, you are in the absolute best position to increase your salary or add benefits. 

When a potential employer extends a job offer during a career change, they are typically emotionally invested in having you join their organization. They’ve likely spent significant time, resources, and effort in the hiring process, and they’ve chosen you over other candidates.

But how do you approach the conversation? What exactly do you say? What do you ask for? 

First, you must know what you want and need out of your career. What do you need to live comfortably? What are deal breakers and must-haves? 

The next step is doing research on the organization, role and industry to know the market norms. What does the company usually offer as far as pay? What about their benefits? Think about time off, parental leave eave, and you can get really creative not just salary, but a work computer, iPad company car, and many other things.

The key is to know what you want, do your research, and confidently ask for it! In this episode, Scott gives tips on how to negotiate when you’ve received an offer. He walks you through the negotiation and gives exact language and scripts to use. Listen now!

What you’ll learn

  • How research and creativity play into a great negotiation
  • How to increase your salary and/or benefits through negotiation
  • What to do in each step of a negotiation & exact verbiage to use
  • Strategies for transforming a potential “no” into a productive partnership

Success Stories

I had listened to the Happen To Your Career podcast for several years before reaching out to Scott about getting career coaching. I'd been in my role for nearly 10 years, wanted to stay, but felt like it was time to renegotiate. What I expected/hoped for was maybe a 10% raise MAX, as I was already near the top of my salary range for the area. Scott pushed me to ask for more, helped me feel confident I was worth that ask, and coached me through how that will probably go, what to say, when and how to say it, what not to say, etc. I walked into my boss's office prepared and he knew it. As my request went higher up the chain, they knew it as well. My preparations and HTYC's great coaching paid off, in a few week's turn around time I was given a 20% raise, and renegotiated job duties which will help me enjoy my job even more! I highly recommend both their podcast and coaching services, Scott and his team are the real deal!

Justin, Engineer

I greatly appreciate your help in bringing this along because I wouldn't have had the confidence to negotiate and to be where I am today without the help of a lot of other people. You played a really significant role in it. I'm not going to be that everyday person that hates my job, I'm going to stretch and I'm going to aspire to be better and I'm not going to make that everyday salary. Thank you Scott for putting this out there for all the people that are trying to do a little bit better and trying to go a little bit farther. This is awesome. I love this. This thing that you do, the whole HTYC thing, from the paperwork all the way down to the podcast and just helping people understand that there is success out there and it is attainable but you've got to work for it.

Jerrad Shivers, Market Manager, United States/Canada

Thank you for guiding me through the negotiation process of asking for a raise. Even in this economy you convinced me to follow through. I also appreciate your thoughts on what I should include in my portfolio; it made the difference in the value added that I was able to present to my supervisor.

Ken Russell, Career Placement Coordinator, United States/Canada

I have worked my entire career in behemoth companies (Hershey, Kraft, Pepsi), but I never felt like my creativity could really be stretched. I was often told I have great ideas but there was no way they would happen. So I found myself really discouraged and wanting a more challenging, creative career. And to top it off, I’m making almost $40,000 more a year. I certainly don’t expect that kind of increase every time I make a career move, but I knew my skill value and what I bring to the table. I held my own and negotiated. Now my salary is on par with my male colleagues.

Julie Laughter , Senior Manager, Sustainability

Introduction 00:05

This is the Happen To Your Career podcast with Scott Anthony Barlow. We hope you stop doing work that doesn't fit you. Figure out what does and make it happen. We help you define the work that is unapologetically you, and then go get it. If you feel like you were meant for more, and you're ready to make a change, keep listening. Here's Scott. Here's Scott. Here's Scott.

Scott Anthony Barlow 00:29

Out of all the things that we get to do here at Happen To Your Career, I have a lot of favorites, I gotta tell you. There's one thing that I almost always make the time to do, because it's absolutely fascinating to me. It's fascinating because of the psychology that goes on behind it. It's fascinating because I love to look at it as a gigantic social experiment. It's fascinating because I want to see how far I can push the boundaries in some different ways to really understand how we work and think as human beings. And this particular area is negotiation. This is really one of my favorite topics. Yes, I know that makes me a weirdo. I'm 100% okay with that. I absolutely love it. I can't stop doing it, quite frankly, because it's so fascinating to me. Even the, oh my goodness, just in the last week, my kids are getting into hockey, and then negotiating on hockey equipment just because I want to see how people react. And this is something that really plays a massive difference into you, your career, your life, your lifestyle and, ultimately, many of the choices that you have.

Scott Anthony Barlow 01:51

Today, let's focus on how you can create a higher degree of monetary resources just through negotiation. And here's a question for you. When do you have the most power, the very most power, to negotiate in your job, in your role, in any company that you're working with? Think about it for a second. When do you possibly have the most power? Yeah, if you haven't already guessed it, out of all the possible times, the very best time to negotiate your pay, your job, your terms, anything else, is when you're making a career change to a new company, and a new job specifically right after they've made you an offer. Well, why is that? Well, let's talk about a few truths here from their perspective first. Well, once you get to the point where they've given you an offer, it's a pretty big deal for both you but also for them. Very often, they've spent a huge amount of time going through the process to decide that they want you. And this is a really important factor not to be overlooked because they're emotionally invested, and they've decided it's going to be you in the role, not someone else. And depending on your level, the level of the role that you're interviewing for, likely, they've had other people involved in the process, too. And they probably had to have different levels of approval from their boss, or maybe finance or HR, the CEO or someone else, and it's going to be a little bit dependent every time. However, somebody else probably had to say yes in some way or commit to you so they're not going to be very excited to change anytime soon. Because of that, and a variety of other reasons, you have more power to negotiate now, at this time, than any other point of time. Keep in mind though, this is only after they make an offer. None of this applies while they're considering it. None of it is trying to negotiate by the way. Well, they're considering making an offer, not all that particularly helpful. Which is why, you know, throwing out the first number isn't necessarily advantageous to you. In some states and in some places in some countries, that's not legal now, doesn't follow the regulations for them to ask about past salaries. However, there still are a variety of places on earth where it is perfectly legal and well utilized. Okay, but first, let's address that first question head on. When does the actual negotiation process start? When does it begin? And what is the discussion? So it's really simple, but I've seen very experienced, very intelligent people miss the mark on this one because they're so excited about a job or a company and they have started to have some results and gotten good feedback and maybe somebody told them, "Hey, you're on your way to an offer." Okay. So you do not start the compensation in terms negotiation discussion, until you have an actual offer in hand. If they haven't actually given you terms, or if they've said, "Hey, we're going to make you an offer, but there isn't an actual offer yet." It's only going to hurt you to try and negotiate at this point. However, if they've said, "We're going to give you $104,000 and we would like to offer you the job", then that's different. They're now giving you actual terms. Many companies may email you an offer letter, some will even snail mail it, some will verbalize the offer over the phone, because they don't want to type it up, they don't want to type up the actual offer until it's been verbally accepted. But at the point in time where they tell you that they are offering you the job, here's what I want you to do, because very often that is in person or over the phone conversation. I'd like you to first express gratitude, then express excitement and interest, and then ask for time to consider and agree on a timeframe, and thank them profusely. And here's how that conversation can sound in that order. It might sound like this, "Thank you very much. I really appreciate it. I'm really excited about this opportunity, I think that is going to be a great fit. I also don't make big decisions like this immediately on the spot. I always want to make sure that I'm in 150%, before I give you a firm, yes. And make sure that this really truly is the offer that I want. From everything I can see, I think the job is a great fit and the company will be too, so I'm really excited about that. But can I get back to you in five days? Thanks so much. I really appreciate it. I'm super excited about this." So it can sound like that. And that was really simple, very simple conversation. Once you're asking for time to consider, it does a couple of things behind the scenes. And a lot of people don't think about this. This is some of what it triggers, it often allows the necessary conversations to happen behind the scenes. Your future boss might need to talk to the finance person or their boss, they might need to have discussions to see what they can do for you. If you ask for more, they might need to question, "Hey, what are our limitations, etcetera." It queue often some conversations that so when you call back, you can negotiate. A lot of people don't realize this. Okay, the second thing here is it causes them to realize that you may want to negotiate in the first place. Most companies expect it, but typically only a small percentage do. Usually they're going to be expecting that in one way or another. And you not accepting it, point blank, indicates that there may need to be negotiation going on here. If they didn't say they were going to mail you the offer letter, or didn't give you the details for how that offer is going to get to you in a written form, then specifically asked for them to email you the details of the offer. Even if they weren't planning putting together a specific offer letter, this will force them to put it in writing for you. And if they balk at this in any way whatsoever, you can just say, "Hey, it doesn't need to be something incredibly formal. I just want to make sure that I understand exactly what the offer is, so that I can get you a firm yes, or ask you any questions or let you know of anything that doesn't line up, and then we can have a discussion about that. But I want to make sure that I understand that because there's no way I can say, yes, unless I understand exactly what the offer is and what's entailed with it" Okay, by the way, at this point, congratulations, because you've just received a job offer.

Scott Anthony Barlow 08:34

All right, now that you have the specifics. If the monetary compensation doesn't fit your desired level, the next piece of the negotiations planning will be research. You know, what are the market norms? What does the company usually offer as far as pay? What about their benefits packages, time off, maternity, paternity leave? Try to look at it from a total compensation perspective. And you can get really creative by the way, not just salary, but vacation, iPad, company car, many other things, right? Get as creative as you want. I personally, for my situation, have negotiated pretty large amounts of paid time off, because that's something that was very important to me. An example of that, I made a career change, and we were going to have a baby. And they didn't have paternity leave available for people who were there less than six months. So I negotiated a bunch of time off and they made an exception just for me. It was actually pretty easy for all of us to do. And it worked out really well. And my boss felt it was the right thing worked well for me. I came into the job, was there a month, and then took about another month, maybe it was five weeks or so, time off to be with the new baby and my wife and my family. And it was part of the negotiation. It wouldn't have happened in that same way had I not brought it into the negotiation. So the question becomes, what can sweeten the deal for you? Anything that can make it a better deal is something you can ask for. Doesn't mean that they will be able to say yes, necessarily, but the more creative, the better. And it can make it work. During your negotiations conversation, when you call back with them or meet with them again, here's how that needs to go in order for them to be able to have an opportunity to say yes to any part of what you might be asking for. It's a little similar to that formula that I suggested earlier for the initial call. I want you to express gratitude and excitement, and then let them know it's a perfect fit, except for the areas that aren't, and then you can share why it's not. And by the way, if you don't have a blatant reason why it's not a fit, or it's not a clear reason why, like in the one case I negotiated a difference, because they were going to have me working in a different state, which had different taxes. And it would have made a pretty big difference to my salary. So negotiated more pay, and it was a pretty substantial, easy to understand reason, and pretty justifiable from everybody who is involved. In some cases, it can really just be that what I'm looking for is different than what you've offered. An example of that might be, your offering 85,000. What I really wanted in this next role change was 92,000. And that was the low end of my target and what I was looking to make a move to. So that's when the real question comes in. That's when the next question comes in. How can we make that happen? Or what would it take to make that happen? Now, there's a lot of psychology buried in there. And this is the part that I absolutely love, because that question ends up allowing you to begin it as a partnership. Very cool, right? Okay. So here's what that can sound like. It can sound like, "Thanks again for picking me for this role. I'm still really excited about it. And really excited about the organization and working with y'all. I think that it'll be a great opportunity for me. And I think it's a perfect fit, except for what I was really looking for." And this is, by the way, where you can insert the compensation, the benefits, the other items you want, an example of this would be, "I was really looking for a 95,000 instead of the 82,000 that you've offered me." And if possible, this is where you're going to provide the reasoning too, "The cost of living for shifting over to this area, and making a move is pretty drastically different than what I'm accustomed to. And I really want to make sure that I can take this role and feel good about this aspect of it as well. And also my research shows that most people are actually making 97,000 in this particular type of role with similar experience at similar organizations in this industry." And then after you have shared that, you can say, "How can we make that happen? Or what would it take to make that happen?" One of three things is going to happen at this point– they're gonna say, "Yes, we can do that. No problem, not a big deal, we'll take care of it." Or number two, they might say, "Let me get back to you in the next 48 hours. Or let me get back to you after we've had a chat here and see what we can do." By the way, this is the most common thing that will happen after you ask in negotiation. Or they might say some variation of "No, can't do it." And this is the part where if they say no, or something similar, the question becomes, well, what do you do? "What if they tell me no? Oh no." If you get a "no" answer, it might not actually mean no. In fact, most of the time, it does not mean no. It might mean, "we can't do that right now" it might mean, "I can't actually make that decision", as in the person you're asking right there is not authorized to make that decision, or "I was only authorized to go up to this amount." Or it might mean something different that we haven't talked about. The way that you're asking for them to do it, may not be something that they can do because of company policies or state regulations, or something else, which means that you might need to change how you're asking for it or speak to a different person, or change the playing field a little bit. And I had to consider when making job offers what other people made in the company. This was when I was working in HR leadership. We wanted to have fairness and equity as we brought people in. And that said, and even when I was considering all of those factors before saying, "Yes, somebody can make this offer in our organization or somebody can make that offer." No didn't always actually mean no. A lot of times there were ways to make exceptions to it. So here's some questions you can ask to help change that "no" into a productive partnership, where you're working to figure out under what circumstances could this be possible. So one question might be, "What can you do?" Or, "what could we do instead?" Or, "how could we make that happen?" Or, if it's not the right person to talk to, then you might say something like, "Who in the company does make that decision?" Or, "who do we need to talk to?" Ask this if they aren't the right person, "Is there anybody else that needs to be involved in making this decision?" So all of those are great questions to begin that conversation and continue it as a partnership. And if they aren't able to do it in the way that you're asking, you might not know all the reasons and asking, "what can we do instead" is a way to open up discussion about it and have a more frank discussion, and change it from a 'no' to a "helped me understand what else can we do and work a creative way around it." Okay, so I've given you some of the negotiation scripts, that same script and formula that I gave you is actually something that I pulled straight out of our bootcamp program, our Career Change Bootcamp program. At the time of this recording, we've only had three people that have ever gone in and utilize the processes that we teach there. And the scripts that we're talking about, and they have not had their organization willing to do something for them, willing to change that offer in one way or another, only three people. So what does this mean? Well, I take it to mean that, generally, just asking in the first place is going to get you most of the way there because many people don't ask because they're afraid at that point in time that the offer is going to be pulled away from them. And what I found is that that is really, really rare. Does it happen? Sure, very, very, very rarely. But it's unlikely to happen, because they've invested so much in you, unless you ask for something unreasonable like they've made an offer of 104,000, you're like, "Oh, wow, we're way off. I was actually looking for $497,000", then there's probably something you may need to have spent more time in the interview process. However, generally, what I found is that just by asking alone, they're going to be able to do something to, if not meet you halfway, go all the way to what it is that you're looking for, or you'll be able to open up a productive discussion, and maybe even turn that into an opportunity where you get a raise earlier than what you might normally have, as you move into the role. Okay, we've helped hundreds of people through situations, just like this, being able to get sometimes very, very substantial raises and increases as they go into negotiation. But I also want to be really clear with you that the scripts that I've talked about, yes, they work. Part of the reason they work is because just asking for something is going to make it much more likely that you're going to get it. That's part of the secret sauce. That's not so magic behind the scenes. However, the other part of it is, inside our Career Change Bootcamp program, we're teaching a lot of the psychology that leads up to that and teaching people even how to go about the interactions that they have, so that when they get to the negotiation phase, then it's even easier to be able to negotiate because they want you so badly in that particular role, and because of how you've handled the conversations and interactions up to that point. So I want you to know that and understand how and why some of those building blocks start to go together. And by the way, if that's something that you're interested in, one of the very best ways that we do that is through that program, it is a 16-week one-on-one coaching program, following a very specific 8-part framework that we've developed and perfected over the years to figure out a career that fits you, test it for reassurance, and then make your change. And many of the people that you've heard on our podcast, have gone through that program. And that's part of how they have moved from one role to another or from one industry to another or from one completely different occupation into another. So here's what I would suggest you, if you thought about making that change, you want to be able to get ahead, then drop me an email directly Scott@happentoyourcareer.com and put 'Conversation' in the subject line. And then I'll introduce you to my team. And I will be thrilled to pieces to connect you up with them. You'll have a conversation with them. Tell us a little bit about your situation. We'll work really hard to understand what you're doing and figure out the very best way that we can help, whether it be Career Change Bootcamp, or otherwise. It's what we do. It's what we love to do, and we'd be thrilled to pieces to help.

Scott Anthony Barlow 19:53

Here's the thing that I want to leave you with though in this particular podcast. Just by understanding what you want, and then asking for what you want, makes it significantly easier for you to be able to get where you want. So don't ever forget that. And start practicing asking for what you want and being really clear with yourself about what is most important to you, whether it's negotiation, or otherwise. And in short order, over a period of time, you'll start finding that you're getting a lot more of what it is that you want. Now, here's a sneak peek into what's coming up next week right here on Happen To Your Career.

Speaker 2 20:32

The idea of stepping off that track felt like I was stepping into an abyss. And I didn't really know where I would go next.

Scott Anthony Barlow 20:41

When I was a kid, I was often asked the question, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" You probably been asked this too. And back then, I thought this was a pretty harmless question. So I was always ready for it. Architect, obviously. That's what I wanted to be, at least for a while, until studio recording, and then the next thing, and then the next thing. And again, I just thought it was a harmless question. But many years later, I started to realize that it wasn't. I've come to realize how useless this question is, and how all it really does is teach us from a really extremely young age that we have to pick the exact career we want, instead of figuring out what our strengths are, and what's really going to make us feel more fulfilled and gathering experiences and mastery and all the other things that actually helps with fulfillment, happiness, enjoyment, and often the result of this very normalized mindset of the, "what do you want to be when you grow up?" The perfect thing is that when we actually begin to study for or practice, that one career that we've always dreamed of, if it doesn't work out, we're left feeling like we failed.

Scott Anthony Barlow 21:47

All that and plenty more next week right here on Happen To Your Career. Make sure that you don't miss it. And if you haven't already, click Subscribe on your podcast player so that you can download this podcast in your sleep, and you get it automatically, even the bonus episodes every single week, sometimes multiple times a week. Until next week. Adios. I'm out.

Ready for Career Happiness?

What Career Fits You?

Finally figure out what you should be doing for work

Join our 8-day “Mini-Course” to figure it out. It’s free!