I challenge you to ask your friends, family and colleagues to tell you their top three career goals for 2018.  I am willing to bet, that most of the people you ask will include “make more money” among their goals.  What is surprising about this is the fact that while the goal may be to earn more money, women particularly, are too afraid to ask for more money when pursuing a new job or a promotion.

Too many women are waiting to be given more money.  Well, now is the time to stop waiting around to get paid what we are worth.  Let’s get back to the basics with these five tips to get you started with negotiating the salary you want and deserve:

1. Choose the right timing.

Everyone agrees the best time to negotiate your salary is when you are switching jobs.  You have more leverage and negotiating power as a person who just got a job offer than as a current employee. Just think about it. The potential employer is expecting you to negotiate.  So, if you don’t negotiate, it’s like renting versus buying, you’re giving money away!  

Avoid attempting to negotiate or even discuss salary to early on in the application process.  The longer you can defer the salary conversation, the longer you have to market yourself as the best candidate for the job.

If you’re already at a job and you want a raise, all is not lost.  You can seek to negotiate a pay raise following an annual performance evaluation (make sure it was a beyond average review) or if you are getting a promotion.  Be careful, however, not to try to use a job offer as a means of getting your raise.  This could really backfire big time.   

2. Decide whether you will share your salary information.

When pursuing a new job, the potential employer may ask for your current salary and/or salary history.  You do not have to provide it.  Try to bring the focus back to your future earnings.  Interestingly, PayScale’s report, Is Asking for Salary History … History?, found that women who decline to disclose their salary history earn 1.8 percent less than women who reveal it when asked. The opposite is true for men: they will earn 1.2 percent more than providing salary history information. It is best, therefore, to have the information available and be prepared to respond one way or the other if asked.

3. You deserve to be paid what you are worth.

You should already know the potential salary range of the position you are applying for. You should also have in mind what salary you would love to earn as well as your absolute bottom line.  Do not play small! Ask for the higher end of the range.  Do your research and tap into your professional network to get the inside scoop on salary at a particular company or organization.  If the salary is not listed in the job posting, you can check out websites like Glassdoor and Payscale for salary information.

4. Practice, practice, practice!

Rehearse what you are going to say.  Role play with a friend or coach and be prepared for a variety of responses and objections. The more you hear yourself having the conversation and practice your responses, the more confident and comfortable you will be.

5. Set the stage with confidence and positivity.

All this money talk can be scary, but do it anyway!  Set the tone from the time you sit down or pick up the telephone to discuss salary.  Doing your homework is key, but having the right mindset is more than half the battle. The more information you have to back up your sell, the more confident you will feel and the employer will take you seriously. You have everything you need to succeed!

For coaching on how to navigate your next salary negotiation, sign up for a free strategy session with me and be sure to follow Shape Your Success Coaching online for more content, challenges and more.