Tech salary negotiations can always be tricky. You want to be confident and bold but don’t want to come across arrogant. Your perceived value of yourself could potentially be different than your boss’s, and aligning those perspectives can feel awkward.
It would be so much easier if you could walk into your boss’s office and say, “show me the money”, and the raise appeared. Since that isn’t an option, we have put together 5 key things to think through before you walk into your boss’s office to have this conversation.
Do Your Research
You have to go into tech salary negotiations with a number; And that number needs to be within reason and negotiating range. Research compensation in information technology for similar positions. Factors could include: education, experience, and industry tenure.
Taking into account your current salary, you can then estimate how much more money you can reasonably ask for, that better reflects your value to the company.
Bottom Line Facts
How do you contribute to the bottom line? Your value to the company is reflected in the way you help increase that bottom number. Bring up the revenue growth or expertise expansion that you have helped bring to the company in your time as an employee, specific to your role and/or contributions.
If you are in an IT support role, it may be harder to quantify this value. However you can bring up your speed and efficiency in aiding the money makers for the company, so that they can continue to go about their day. Without you, they lose their ability to make money for the company, and that is a value that can not be lost.
Hard Ball With Soft Skills
While this should not be the main part of your argument, it is important to reference your time with the company, loyalty, leadership and compatibility with company culture. All of these make you more valuable than the person they could hire to replace you. Often, companies hire attitude and you want to ensure that yours does not go unnoticed.
It’s Not Personal
Don’t bring up your kids, house or personal needs. You are not a charity case, but a valued employee. It is easy to feel close to those you work with because you do spend so much time with them, but this conversation needs to be strictly professional. It is important to remember that you are asking for more money, not because the needs of your home life are changing, but because the value you bring to the company should be accurately portrayed.
Walk Away With Something, Even If It Isn’t Everything
Building a technical career is about more than just building a portfolio of skills and past projects. It is also about stepping up the pay ladder over time. When you walk in with a number, make it 15% to 20% higher than what you would be happy with. That way if your boss negotiates down some, you still are close to that ideal number at which you value yourself.
If you walk away with less than you wanted to, still take it. This is not an all or nothing ordeal. Take the small raise and come back in a year or two. If you were hoping to climb three or four steps up the pay ladder, and only got two, it’s okay. This is a marathon not a sprint. This also puts you in a position to have a higher salary with another company if you choose to go elsewhere.
One on One Help With The 101
To ensure that you handle tech salary negotiations effectively or for additional help, our professionals at GTN Technical Staffing are available to help you determine your value and help you find a job where you are making what you deserve.