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Executives: Here’s How You Ask For a Raise

It has been reported by Forbes that executives who changed jobs last year increased the amount of compensation they received by 17 percent. But it is not always necessary for executives to change jobs in order to fulfil their compensation goals.

It is not uncommon for executives to love the job that they are in, but feel that they are underpaid and could make a lot more money somewhere else. In fact, a reported 65 percent of the working population feels the same, according to a survey conducted by Salary.com.

executive_pay_raise_negotiationSo how do you ask for a raise?
 

Timing is everything: You should think carefully about the timing of your salary increase request. If your company generally grants compensation increases at the end of the year, or on the anniversary of employment start dates, this should be factored into your decision.

You should also consider the current economic climate and the budget or financial situation of the company in question. If you feel the need to start your request with “I know this isn’t the best timing…” your request is probably going to be unsuccessful.
 

Do your research: It is important to calculate what you are worth before entering into possible negotiations. Thanks to the internet, this task has been made easy. Salary comparison websites, online job vacancies listings, or other networks within your field can all help you to establish the going rate for your role; however, it is important to also consider the impact of location and your industry.
 

Provide proof: Before you approach your company, you need to be able to tangibly quantify the value you bring to the organization. Review your professional achievements and make a list of any notable accomplishments, including those that brought in higher revenues, saved costs, increased customer satisfaction, or went beyond that which is listed in your job description. By collecting this vital information, you can introduce an increase that can be supported by the documentation.  

When stating your case, avoid telling your employer why you need the extra money, or comparing yourself to other employees who might be earning more in a similar role. These approaches tend to be counterproductive.
 

Related webinar: “Expert Tips for Executive Compensation Negotiation” Register today >>
 

Think outside the box: When asking for a raise, many executives forget to negotiate beyond basic salary. Prior to entering into discussions, it is important to review other negotiable types of compensation including tuition aid, flex-time, additional vacation days, equity or other perks.
 

Practice makes perfect: Asking for a raise can be a daunting task and can shake the confidence of even the most experience executive. In order to make sure that your pitch is conveyed in a clear, concise and professional manner, it is worth rehearsing in front of a mirror, or with a friend who can also play devil’s advocate and ask those difficult follow-up questions. You could make a list of possible questions that your employer may ask so that you are prepared with a well thought out counterargument.
 

Allow your employer to prepare: It is essential to start off negotiations on the right foot, and not make your employer feel ambushed or ill-prepared to deal with your request. When scheduling your meeting, make sure that your employer is fully aware of the purpose of the talk and that you intentions are clear from the onset.
 

Accept their decision: Regardless of the outcome of your discussion, you must be prepared to understand and accept their decision. Be aware that if you have had your request rejected, it does not mean that you will not receive a raise in a few months down the line. As frustrated as you might be, remember that you will be working with them for the foreseeable future and so it is vital not to sour relationships, or threaten to quit.

If you have been turned down, it is acceptable to ask for the reasons why your request was unsuccessful. If it was due to budget concerns, you can request a follow-up meeting during the period that the budget will be under review. If the reason is performance related, then make steps to improve on your areas of weakness to ensure your request will be successful next time.
 

If you would like to hear more about executive compensation negotiation, register today for our upcoming webinar.

The Ultimate Executive Career Guide: Compensation Negotiation

As a senior-level executive, you can use this guide to:

- Figure out your compensation value
- Navigate compensation questions during interviews
- Strategize how you counter and accept employment offers
- Negotiate a pay raise from your current employer
- And more!

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About the author

This article was written by Lisa Marsh, Marketing Manager at the Association of Executive Search and Leadership Consultants (AESC).
 

About the Association of Executive Search and Leadership Consultants

Since 1959, the AESC has set the standard for quality and ethics in executive search and leadership consulting worldwide. Because AESC members must commit and adhere to the AESC's industry and government recognized Code of Ethics and Professional Practice Guidelines, clients can be assured that AESC members are able to serve as trusted advisors for their most important engagements. As the voice for executive search and leadership consulting worldwide, today the AESC is comprised of more than 350 member firms, representing 8,000 executive search professionals in 75 countries. To learn more about the AESC and its membership, visit www.aesc.org.

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