Negotiating for an increase in wage is outright naggy, right? Wrong! Over half the typical population will shrink away from asking for a pay-increase for fear of being perceived negatively by their superiors. The average employee will work at their 9-to-5 for a number of years and resign from their position before mustering up the courage to ask for a raise. According to Fortune Magazine, this self-deprecating attitude has led today’s millennials to be paid 20% less than their senior counterparts. Therefore, we’ve outlined a set of dos and don’ts that will aid you through the wage negotiation process next time you get the jitters.

DO conduct your research prior to the negotiation

Knowing is half the battle – especially for wage negotiations! Look into who will be leading the negotiation, and what makes their cookie crumble. If any trusted colleagues have asked for a wage increase before, pick their brain about their experience to gain some helpful insight and smother down those pre-negotiation nerves. Putting a name to a face will help ease your mind and tailor your negotiation process.

You also want to be sure that you know your market. Conducting thorough research about your role will avoid the risk of making unrealistic requests or a bad impression with your boss. This is especially significant if you’re working in a large company and have had little to no prior interaction with your superior. You want to make sure to instil confidence with your knowledge if your performance has not been able to come across to your superior.

DON’T assume you deserve a raise because your colleague got one

Here’s the thing: you’ve got to be objective. Even if you feel like you’re underpaid in comparison to your peers, you have got to evaluate whether you’ve been pulling your share of the weight in the company. In this world, there are people who put their all in their job and others who do just enough to get by. If you form part of the latter group, a raise might not be in the books for you.

You could prepare the most convincing pitch ahead of your negotiation meeting but your boss will be looking out for a particular list of attributes. Here’s a list of what your employer wants to see from you before considering you for a promotion.

DO recognise your worth in the company

Most people will refrain from asking for a raise because, quite simply, they don’t recognise their contribution to the company they work for. Make a list of all your achievements and why you’re essential to the company, and take it with you to the meeting. If for any reason, your boss is hesitant about accepting your request for a raise, the brag sheet will be sure to seal the deal.

DON’T settle for peanuts

Wage negotiation is a dog-eat-dog world, and any sensible business person will offer you a low salary increase to try their luck. Never settle for the first offer! The word ‘negotiation’ means that you should go back and forth until you find a satisfying middle ground. Prior to initiating the negotiation, make sure you are decided on the lowest number you’d willingly settle for. Being secure in your request will avoid long pauses on your end that might be perceived as signs of insecurity. If you’re not confident about your worth, how can you expect your counterpart to be?

DO be realistic about the negotiation

Whilst you might feel like you deserve a raise, it’s important you keep your feet grounded and your facts in check. Two-thirds of people who are paid the market rate tend to believe they’re being underpaid which says a lot about how you might be feeling at the moment. Look into national statistics and ask around peers alike to find out whether you are due a wage negotiation or not.

DON’T present inaccurate facts

Regardless of how desperately you may need the money, lying about your qualifications or performance won’t get you that increase. Wage increases typically come with heightened responsibilities and if you do not possess the skills you negotiated with, your dishonesty will eventually shine through. Once your lies become evident, you will inevitably see your wage decrease again, or worse – you might be sacked from the company.

DO wait for the opportune moment

Some days are just not good days. You might be in a rush to get the nerve-wracking moment over with, but you don’t want to catch your boss on a bad day or you might just ruin your chances at getting your desired stipend. Psychologically speaking, it’s best to ask for a raise towards the end of the week as your boss is more likely to be open for negotiation then, so maybe steer clear of Mondays.

DON’T postpone the negotiation further

Whilst we’re all about doing things at the right time, the workplace doesn’t always allow for such freedoms. Your superior will always have something to deal with so instead of looking for the right time to bring the subject up, work on doing it right. Present yourself to the negotiation meeting with confidence and avoid wasting your superior’s time and patience.

We hope our tips have helped instil a sense of security in you. If you think there’s little room for improvement in your workplace, you might want to consider a change in the environment. If that’s the case, we have over 900 job postings available on our database, so go and check them out!