Jeanne Sahadi over at CNN Money is spilling the beans again, and this time it’s about salary. Your managers know these precious pieces of info, but you might not. Armed with this knowledge, you could be better poised to tip the scale in your favor next time you negotiate. Here’s the summary.
1. Secret: Your pay doesn’t necessarily reflect performance and seniority. If new hires are getting paid as much as you with your extensive experience, it might be time to mention this and push for a realignment.
2. Secret: There’s more raise where that came from. Your managers will tell you there’s only so much cash available, but they’re usually lying. There is a reserve for those who the company does not want to lose. If you’re one of those people, use it to your advantage.
3. Secret: When you’re told they can’t pay you more now, budget may not be the issue. Your boss may not think you’re worth that much, he may not have tha uthority to make the decision, or you’re already at the top of the pay scale.
4. Myth: Your pay is all about you. Compensation is determined by consultants and surveys. At my company, a “market reference range” is established for each position which describes a range that includes the middle 50% of people working at that position, supposedly.
5. Myth: Bosses pay more if they like you. It’s not that their admiration is the reason for a higher pay. The qualities that allow someone to be paid more are the same qualities that the boss likes.
6. Myth: You can’t negotiate severance. If the company needs something from you, like your knowledge, before you leave, you are in a good position to ask for more than the standard severance package (if there is one).
I’ve been at my current position now for six months, and I started at a salary lower than I thought I deserved because I was a little anxious to get to a better mental state. I’ve continuously added responsibilities and I’ve received good feedback; perhaps I should start putting the right thoughts in my manager’s mind well before the annual review at the beginning of 2007.
Published or updated November 6, 2006.