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Negotiate Yourself Into a Better Career

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Find information that supports that your responsibilities are similar to those of the positions being rated before negotiating your salary.

Basically, your approach will be something like this:

"I've been doing some research on compensation levels for the type of work that I do.  I've only been managing projects here for the past year and a half, so I realize I'm probably on the low end of this scale, but my current salary is quite a bit lower than this.  I understand that my salary is based on the position I was originally hired for, and it probably hasn't been reviewed since then.   I would like to ask that my salary be reviewed against the industry standards for my current responsibilities.  Based on the surveys, I think my salary should be in the $X - $Y range."

Be sure to state specifically what you are looking for in your new salary, and make sure it is realistic (as supported by your salary research and your knowledge of the company.) Suggest a range that is slightly higher than what you really hope to achieve.  For instance, if you expect to be at the low end of the scale, ask for a salary toward the middle.  Companies like to negotiate down, so you will be creating a situation where you can negotiate your salary to a figure that makes you both feel like you came out well.

Understand that your manager will be a caught off guard by this discussion, so try to close the conversation after you've made your pitch to let them digest your proposal and your supporting documents. Be prepared for a few follow-up talks, and ready to defend the research you have done.  Don't get discouraged if the initial response isn't positive. Keep the discussions professional and friendly and keep the door open for future negotiation. Even if you do get the thumbs up from your boss, it may take some time before you actually see a change in your salary as he or she may need to convince others in the organization to put this trough.

It Never Hurts to Ask

Not all of the techniques above will work in every organization, and your job role and perceived value play a big factor as well.  Don't let that stop you from asking for the changes you would like to see.  If you do so with tact and grace you won't do any harm, and it could open the door for an unforeseen opportunity further down the road. Most people should be able to make at least some changes that will better align their present job with their career goals, and this can add valuable skills that will make their resume more likely to land them the next job they hope to see themselves in.

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