power of the pause

Over the past several weeks, you’ve likely noticed I’ve been guiding you through the steps of how to prepare for a negotiation in your career. If you’re new to receiving these notes, we started with assessing your current career situation and thinking about the financial mood of your organization/manager. From there, we moved into how to research the salary you deserve and writing/practicing your negotiation scripts.

We’re finally at the most exciting (but often frightening) part of this process: asking for more of what you want. As a reminder, the “more” can be items other than money. It could be tuition reimbursement, more vacation, working from home or even asking for a formal mentor at your organization. In fact, bundling a few requests together in your negotiation is wise and positions you better for receiving that which matters most to you.

For this part of the process, there are a couple of key points to make it go smoothly. The first is to let your manager know you’d like to discuss compensation and set a time for the conversation. Even if you’ll be having your annual review and the topic of money will come up for a merit raise, it’s wise to bring it up in advance. I failed to do this in the past and my manager’s eyes were as big as saucers when I countered the merit raise percentage.

The second key point is on how to deliver your request. You’ve already decided what you want, written out your script, and practiced it. Now is the moment to state it in a positive, calm tone and then pause. It’s incredibly easy to ramble on and share unnecessary information but is imperative to pause and wait for how your manager responds. In a future note, we’ll cover how to handle the most common reactions you’ll likely hear from your manager.

If you’ve been following along for weeks and you’re now ready to take action, good luck! I’d love to hear about your successes and challenges.