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How to negotiate a pay raise in 2021

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In a recent salary survey spanning more than 150 countries, researchers found that more companies are planning zero salary increases in 2021. In the survey some 30% of respondents from Singapore, reported they had plans for pay freezes this year.

It's news that dashes any hopes for company-wide pay raises this year. However, you could try approaching your manager to personally ask if you are still eligible for one. The question is, what would make a pay raise be possible for you?

Asking for a raise in this economic climate can seem uncomfortable. However, if you've been displaying excellent performance, you can successfully negotiate a pay raise even in these unfortunate circumstances. Learn how to negotiate salary during covid with these five essential tips:

1. Assess the situation

Reading the room is an important skill for any successful employee. You don't want to be insensitive so take your company's current performance into consideration. Find out how your company is handling matters and what its priorities are.

If you notice that the company is focused on retaining talent due to its scarcity after layoffs, your chances for a raise are better since this is good leverage for your case. If the company is not doing well at all, you might want to hold off until the company is faring better. But if you end up with more work in this case, you can try to negotiate for other rewards such as flexible work arrangements.

An important point here is that as long as you are adding value and contributing above and beyond to the company, the possibility for a raise is highly likely, no matter the context.

2. Prepare the material

When you are making a case, you should always be prepared with proof that supports your claim. To demonstrate your excellent performance in the past year, you can bring old performance evaluations or other documentation that indicate the measurable results.

Have clear evidence that details the who, what, when, where, and how of your examples. How did your projects and contributions help the company reach its goals? You can also highlight any extra responsibilities you've been given during the pandemic.

Keep your case simple by clearly illustrating the value you've added and the risks you've avoided for the company. You need to emphasize the high profitability of your skills in the industry.

3. Make your case

The next phase of your research should focus on how much of a raise you will ask for. You must have a justification for the amount you will choose. Market research is the best means to find out the salary rate for someone in a similar position as yours. Take into account your location, industry, responsibilities, and amount of experience.

Supplement your research by interviewing others in the same industry or even with recruiters. You can further expand your points of reference online, such as through salary reports on employee websites.

With this information, you can build a benchmark salary and determine what is a good raise percentage. If your current salary is below the benchmark, you can use this as more leverage toward your claim for a raise.

4. Ask the question

Once your research is in order, you can start looking for a good schedule for the talk. Try to schedule the conversation on the most convenient time for your manager. Talks can run more smoothly when there are no distractions. This is important especially since most are working from home and your manager's free time may not be the same as everyone else's.

Prior to the scheduled talk, it helps to practice a few questions by making a script that can help you keep track of what you've covered. When the designated time comes, show that you appreciate that your manager is willing to hear you out. And as you bring up each point, elaborate while backing them up with concrete evidence.

As your conversation finishes, your manager should have a clear idea of why you are looking for a raise. Don't expect a final answer right away since your manager will usually have to consult their superior first before promising anything.

5. Think long-term

Even if you have a great case for a raise, be prepared to receive a "no." Sometimes, the company just doesn't have the budget or are prioritizing other aspects of the business. For this outcome, your efforts have not gone to waste because your manager now understands that you care about adding value to the company.

Moreover, getting a no doesn't mean you can't try again. Plan with your manager an actionable timeline of how you can work to get the raise. You might also be able to negotiate for non-monetary benefits instead of a raise. These could come in the form of more paid leaves or employee stock options.

Learning how to negotiate salary successfully is very advantageous for every worker. Risking the possibility of rejection is always better than not asking at all. A "no" might disappoint you but it lasts only until the next time you ask. It's time for you to stop worrying and think, what if they say yes? 

Half the Sky's mission is to supply the tools that can give every woman the ability to build a successful career and be fully prepared for the future of work. So, that they can lead a healthy, prosperous and more balanced/blended lifestyle of their choosing.  By building your confidence, you’re setting foundations to empower yourself and your career.  The world is your oyster, and it starts with you. 

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