If the answer is no:
- Think beyond pay…would the company consider: Bumping up your commission rate or stock incentives; adding more flexible hours or an extra week of vacation; or paying for continued education.
- Get your boss to agree to revisit your compensation in six months and set a date for a future meeting. Ask for specific goals that you will achieve in that period – a certain percentage increase in sales, projects that will be completed – and be as specific as possible.
Send a follow up email. Memorialize any compensation conversations in writing and provide updates as necessary.
For those who are seeking a career change or are just starting out:
Figure out why you are jumping ship. Sure, a bump up in pay can be great, but will it require longer hours/days or a loss of benefits? Is there a pension involved? Would you lose precious vacation time that you love? Would a move require a longer commute? After doing so, you might come to the conclusion that you are better off staying where you are and asking your boss for a raise, in which case, see above.
Prepare for the interview. Conduct research on the organization and practice how you will answer obvious questions, like “tell me about yourself”, “why do you think you are a good fit for this job” and when the interviewer asks you if you have any questions, have a few in your back pocket.
Use the range (step five above). In many states, it is illegal to ask what your previous or current pay is – and many large companies have stopped the practice. If you are asked, a good strategy is to ask what the range of salary is for the position you are considering.
Mind basic etiquette. Do not be late, know your interviewer’s name, turn off your phone, be engaged and maintain eye contact, thank the interviewer for their time and conclude the meeting with a firm handshake. Follow up with a thank you email.
Double down on what works. If you are invited back for a follow up or a series of meetings with other people on the team, think through what struck you about the prior meeting and try to build on it with the next ones.
Have the money conversation. Employers will usually make a formal offer, but don’t be too quick to accept it. This is the time when you can make the case, based on your credentials, as to why you should be placed in the upper range of the company's salary range.