The Key to Salary Negotiation: Asking

The Key to Salary Negotiation: Asking

Yesterday, a women’s finance site sent around a newsletter lauding a woman who lied about her current salary in order to negotiate for a better salary at a new job. We've been reading about it all day: first in the New York Times, then on Gawker, and now it's about time for us to weigh in. (For another take, check out our entry from a Confession of a Former Recruiter.) This is what I think:

When it comes to negotiating for a raise, I never recommend lying, but always recommend asking.

As shown in a number of studies, men are far more likely than women to ask for a raise. They typically do so by stating their value to the company. For any woman who believes that she deserves a higher salary, her best bet is to ask for one.

When discussing pay with an employer it is essential to never, ever lie about a previous salary. Giving an employer false information is never a good idea, and this holds true even when trying to bump up your pay just by a little. You are going to get that raise because you deserve it, not because you told a white lie.

Instead, I recommend doing basic research. Before approaching your boss you want to have an idea of what people in similar positions to you are being paid. After you have a ballpark number, you also need to look into what education or special skills you have that makes you deserving of such a raise. You want to be able to talk about your worth and what you add to the company. Ask yourself, how have you contributed to the growth of the company? With these ideas in mind, all that’s left to do is ASK!

Take a deep breath! It is important to be confident. At this point, the worst that can happen is that they say no, and in my personal experience this has never happened. At LearnVest we know that your work warrants a raise … it is certainly worth a shot!

Lauren Lyons-Cole is LearnVest's financial planner in residence.

Please also see the response from our columnist who pens Confessions Of  A Financial Recruiter: How Lying About Your Salary Can Get You Blacklisted. Also, weigh in on our poll below and in the comments.


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