Michelle Battersby’s 6-Step Guide to Negotiating Your Salary

michelle-battersby-salary advice

In her next column for TheLatch—, career woman and CMO Michelle Battersby shares her advice to negotiating your salary. Formerly the APAC marketing director at Bumble and now CMO for Keep it Cleaner, Michelle is well-versed in conducting negotiations both in entering a new role, and negotiating out of one.

With my second column falling on International Women’s Day, I want to pass on some tangible advice.

Studies show that 63% of men are more likely to ask for a pay rise than women (50%). They are more likely to put themselves forward for roles they aren’t qualified for, and most recently it was announced by the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) that the gender pay gap has only decreased by 0.01% over the past 6 months taking it to 13.9%. 

Based on these alarming statistics, I want to share my tips for negotiating which I hope will arm you with the confidence to put yourself forward for promotions, pay rises or roles which you feel are out of reach — but they aren’t! 

Whilst there are many contributing factors to this and businesses need to ensure they are initiating change from the top down, I also believe it’s beneficial for women to be proactive around driving their career conversations and being comfortable in challenging themselves to go for opportunities they want. 

Negotiating is something that can be a daunting experience at times, particularly when it’s for yourself, but with the right preparation, it doesn’t need to be. 

Step 1 → Remove all personal emotion and attachment to the conversation.

Time and time again I have led with emotion in difficult conversations and it’s never been successful. I’ve ended up shakey or rambling beyond the facts, but that’s the point — negotiations should be based on facts so present them as that. 

Step 2 → Before identifying your key facts consider the environment. 

Are you asking for a pay rise, promotion or new role out of a review cycle or within one? 

Are you working within an organisation that’s currently turning over high revenue/results or are you working in an environment of decreasing budgets? 

How long have you been at the company? If it’s under 6-12 months I believe it’s too soon to be pushing for a pay rise or a promotion, and you need to negotiate your pay entering into a company effectively to ensure you don’t run into this situation. 

These are all things to consider before developing your angle and choosing how to phrase the conversation. 

Step 3 → Do your research and know your market.

I believe salaries or promotions should be based on three key indicators:

How many years’ experience do you have?
Output: What output have you driven for the business, and what are your results?
Role: What does your role require of you?

If you look at these three things, you’re looking inwards, which is how it should be. Asking for a pay rise is about you, your role and your output — not competing against other people’s experience, output or role.

However, I do think it is worth looking at external market data such as Hudson’s Salary Guide to see what people in a similar role are being paid and if your current salary is competitive in your industry. 

Step 4 → Take control and own your negotiation process.

You really are in control of your own career and whilst at times it may feel frustrating, you can’t expect people to advocate for you. It’s amazing when they do but expect to have to do it for yourself. Take control!

Step 5 → It’s as important to negotiate into a company as it is to negotiate out.

Negotiating in will ensure you are coming in at the level you agree you should be, on a salary that warrants your experience level and your role. Your results will then be displayed over the next 6-12 months which is when you could begin to consider if you’re worthy of a pay rise. 

Step 6 → Be prepared not receive a pay rise immediately.

You may need to wait until a review cycle or you hit some new KPIs in order to justify the jump. If the pay increase isn’t something that comes immediately, don’t let this discourage you — document everything. You’ve made it known you are seeking more and this is still a strong first step, just make sure you follow it up.

Check in once a month for Michelle Battersby’s column with TheLatch— for advice and tips to help you build the career you want. 

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