Salary Negotiation Series – Part 2 – How to Get a Raise at Your Current Job? Dress the Part!

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Click here to read Part 1 of the Salary Negotiation Series– How to Negotiate Salary After a Job Offer is Given  

I will never forget a guest speaker at a Management Honor Society Meeting I attended during college. She started off as a lowly receptionist that eventually became a manager and made more money because of one thing:

She changed her dress!

Things started changing when I started getting my clothes dry-cleaned. There was one specific professional blouse that I liked to wear when I knew upper management would have their meetings. Eventually I was asked to sit in those meetings. I really don’t think they would have let me take part in these meetings if I didn’t dress the part. Soon, I was asked to not only take a part in them, but to start running the meetings, then I became a boss!”

Are you at your job, making the same amount of money you were making last year? The reason may be because you’re dressing the same way you were dressing when you were first hired! Let’s face it, the coined phrase “appearance is reality” will not go away, regardless if you are the best person for the promotion or salary increase! So before you create your performance appraisal you want to make sure you are dressing as if you already have the raise! Let’s get started!

Scenario #1: The Telemarketing/Customer Service Employee

You’re on the phone all day with little physical contact with customers so there is a chance that your company may allow you to wear anything you want. You will see your co-workers coming to work with their pajamas, piercings, jeans, unpressed clothes and unkept hair. But if you want that promotion, you want to dress like you are the boss… Business casual! Why? Because:

1. You will have better posture when you are wearing nice clothes – I feel proud, professional, and in charge when I wear my business casual attire while the drones are wearing t-shirts and baggy jeans. I sit up with my chest out, shoulders back, and a smile!

2. Upper management will pay attention to you – your manager will notice that you are dressing like a manager and they will want to monitor you more often to find out if you meet the requirements for a promotion.

3. You will be invited to more decision-making meetings – or if you are in group meetings, you will look like the ace-beaucoup, next in line to be the boss.

4. At a group meeting, your ensemble is not complete unless you have a notebook – that includes bringing a notebook and being engaged in the meeting, regardless of how boring or short is. You will look so nice that they may ask you to be in upper-level management meetings instead of meetings with the other drones.

5. Your co-workers will begin to talk to you differently – Instead of your colleagues saying to you, “gimme some paper,” they will ask you, “Could I have some paper, please?”

Side note: If you are a woman: Wear make-up, if you’re not wearing any now. It’s been proven that make-up shows that you mean business! You don’t need to look like you are on the cover of Vanity Fair, but arching your eyebrows, wearing eye make-up paired with your favorite lip color MAKES THE DIFFERENCE!

Scenario #2- The fast food/retail employee – or Anybody Wearing a Uniform

Yes, even people at McDonald’s can get a raise! Dressing the part is a key in getting that raise and having people treat you more seriously at work! But how in the world can you set yourself apart if you have to wear a uniform like everybody else?

– Wear clothes that fit properly – Wearing clothes that fit properly give the illusion that you have either lost weight or not afraid to bend over backwards to help. Plus, it’s just more comfortable to wear clothes that fit!

– Press your clothes! – Even if you wear scrubs—even if you wear permanent press clothes, always look put-together. If that means waking up 30 minutes earlier, do it! The compliments that you get will build your confidence. Even if you work at a fast food restaurant, press everything! Have a crease in your pants, wear a belt, shine your shoes and try not to wear sneakers. If you wear black pants, wear black socks. Side note: Black Pants  ≠ White socks. Just…say… no! 😀

– If you wear a polo-style shirt – Tuck in your shirt and wear a belt. Again, this helps with posture and creating a gives that “appearance vs. reality” look!

– Wear leather shoes or good walking shoes instead of sneakers. If you must wear sneakers, be sure they are professional-looking as possible. The cow is dead anyway– you might as well wear it. 😀

Watch how differently customers will treat you when you look like the manager. They’ll talk to you better, they’ll think you are the boss. Your boss will see your posture and immediately say “Hey, that looks like my next assistant manager, or team lead!”

Giving the appearance that you deserve that raise sets you up for appraisal meetings resulting in a higher salary. Invest in yourself and watch your pockets get bigger! Part 3 of the Salary Negotiation Series will give personal examples of how I negotiated salary or earned a salary increase at previous positions. Good luck, and make that money!

Salary Negotiation Series Part 1- How to Negotiate Salary After a Job Offer is Given

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The possibilities are endless, it's up to you how much money you want to make!

I get a ton of questions about salary—and with good reason too: the gender/income gap employee, the new graduate/entry level employee, and the seasoned-in-the-field candidate all want to know when and how they can make more money! Can you negotiate if you are in either situation? The answer is always yes!

In all three scenarios, most of the time, the reason that these three candidates did not get a higher salary is answered in the best-selling book of all time:

James 4:2 “…ye have not, because ye ask not.”

Yep! Your salary isn’t higher because you didn’t ask for it to be higher. Eight times out of ten, a newly hired employee will not attempt to negotiate salary because:

  1. They don’t know they have the opportunity to negotiate
  2. They are afraid that the offer will be recanted if they ask for more money
  3. They’re so eager or desperate to work that they will take any offer given to them.

I rarely hear women negotiating salary, yet they wonder why the salary/gender gap is so high. Ladies, pardon mon francais, mais, we are going to have to man up, LOL! I rarely see black men negotiate too. Well… look no further because I am here to save the day and I don’t need a Lincoln Hat!

Interviewing and Negotiating

Your best bet is to work on your salary negotiation tips before you are offered the position so if the opportunity to negotiate arises, you will be ready!

Q: When do you negotiate salary? Do I talk about salary during the interview?

A: You discuss salary negotiations after you are given an offer. Do not discuss money with your interviewer or recruiter until you are given an offer. By the time you are in that interview chair or in your phone interview, you should already know the possible salary range you should be given.

Always negotiate salary. Always negotiate salary. Always negotiate salary. Can’t stress that enough!

Q: What if they bring up salary during the interview, even if I don’t bring it up? What should I do?

A: If you’re in that interview chair, your research on how much you may be making should already be done. Check www.salary.com or www.glassdoor.com for all the salary range information you need. During your initial interview with your recruiter/prospective employer, it’s best that you not give a number at this time… because you haven’t been given an offer. Go ahead and use the Socratic Questioning method:

-“Are you providing an offer for the position since you are considering a salary for me?”

-“I am also eager to begin working also, but does this mean you are offering me the position?”

Yep! Put them in the hot seat! This shows that you don’t care about the money—what you care about is being hired and making the company money!

So let’s make a scenario. You get a phone call from one of the many jobs for which you interviewed and you are given an offer of $X per year. What’s next?

You Have to Negotiate Rather Than Demand!

Table 14-1 Negotiate Rather Than Demand!

 Ultimatum or Demand (Don’t do!)   Negotiating Questions (Just do it!) 
Thanks for your offer, but I need a much higher salary and reimbursement for my moving expenses to take the job. I am so excited about the possibility of contributing my skills to this organization. But is there any flexibility or wiggle room in your salary offer and could your office help cover my moving expenses?
I appreciate your offer. But I’m afraid that compensation might be a deal-breaker. I’m excited about this job. I’d like to work out an agreement that would make both of us feel great. Would it be possible for you to raise your salary offer? I think I deserve consideration on this because…
Table Excerpt from the book, How to Land a Top-paying Federal Job

And you better come correct with the reasons why you deserve a higher salary too! 😀

Another rule, don’t give your recruiter just one salary number. Give the recruiter a salary range. Remember, you are negotiating, not demanding!  Check out this dialogue for a great example on negotiating:

Interviewer: We would like to congratulate you on getting the position! Your salary is going to be $X K a year.

You: That is excellent news! Thank you so much for offering me this position! But is there any flexibility or wiggle room in your salary offer? *pause!*

Interviewer: What salary were you thinking about getting?

You: Based on my ___________ *give them 2 or 3 reasons why you are the best candidate, not the reasons why you deserve or demand a salary increase* I believe a salary range of $X+Y to $X + (Y+ 3) is sufficient.

Now prepare for the answer… most of the time, the recruiter is not in charge of your salary, especially if the position is for a large company. They may have to contact their manager or someone in corporate to find out if you are approved for a salary increase; also they may need to check their budget to find out if they can afford you (because you’re so awesome, professional, and amazing)!

Remember that salary range that you gave them? If you gave them the salary range of $X + Y to $X + (Y+3), chances are the company is going to be cheap and give you the lowest number in your range. Look at my FUN equation, hee hee:

X =  Original salary offer

X <  X+Y

BOOM! Even though you didn’t get the top number in your requested salary range, you just made more money than your future colleagues. But wait… there’s more! Look at all this other stuff you can negotiate!

Example of what you can negotiate

Benefits That May Be Negotiable
Salary

Student Loan Repayment

Relocation Bonus and or moving expenses, if you are moving to take the job

Recruitment bonus

Accelerated vacation accrual rate

Start Date

Alternative work schedule or telecommuting options

Tuition reimbursement, if you want to take job-related courses or earn another degree

Parking, if you drive to work

Access to childcare facilities

Date of your first review

Salary advance

Table Excerpt from the book How to Land a Top-paying Federal Job

For example: wouldn’t it be nice to have a fun 2 WEEK paid vacation? Or 12 weeks maternity leave? Ahhhhhh… 😀

As you can see, my favorite book on this subject is Lily Whiteman’s How to Land a Top-paying Federal Job. Please read that book for the best tips on salary negotiation!

Part 2 of my Salary Negotiation Series is going to cover my personal tactics and examples of how I negotiated salary—some of which are… awkward, embarrassing, downright unconventional, but they worked. Part 3 of the Salary Negotiation Series will discuss how to get a promotion at your current job—a must-read for everyone! STAY TUNED!

My credentials?

1. I have been helping people find employment and (make more money) for over 5 years. I’m professionally trained in career coaching, resume writing, and personal development. I actually do this for a living, 😀
2. I have been successful in negotiating my own salary and promotions for over 6 years.
3. I like grapes. Grapes are fun.

Where Have You Been, Aceey?

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It's me! Aceey!

So it’s been a very long time since my last post and I would like to apologize! I must tell you though, I have not been sitting on my bum doing nothing! Here’s the scoop on what’s been going on these past few months!

I was in a lawsuit! Not pretty! So happy that it is finally over because it took so much of my time (and money).

I dislocated my jaw! I had no idea that was even possible. I have been recovering from this since July and sometimes it still hurts to open my mouth wide. As a singer, this is a horrid punishment. 😦

I moved to a new studio loft, which I LOVE and adore! I’ve also been acting like a tourist in my hometown, just taking walks and enjoying life…

Across the street from where I live

Lake

Arab-American Festival jewelry

I’ve been working on getting my hair longer. I started wearing wigs and weaves to change up my style a little!

I went to Japan for my 30th birthday! AMAZING! This was my second time visiting my brother and I had so much fun that I didn’t want to leave. I CRIED at the airport because of the incredible times we shared!

Golden Shrine in Kyoto, Japan

I’ve been actively working on my professional career as a career coach. I’ve been at it for over five years but there are so many new things to learn. I will be introducing more tips– new and old– in my next posts.

I’ve been cooking… DUH! 🙂 Everyone knows how much I love to cook and here are just 2 pics that you have  been missing out on.

Jambalaya for my co-workers

Shabiyey, custard filled phyllo dough pastries from Lebanon

Batata hara - garlic and cilantro potatoes

Atayef! Custard in wheat+yeast pancakes

My ingredients for Pho

Pho and Jasmine tea

enjoying some good coffee in my demitasse.

So stay tuned for more yapping and fun times! I assure you that I won’t leave you hanging again!

Love,

Aceey Emme (Pronounced “A. C. M.”)