Salary negotiations are a crucial part of working life, ensuring that you work for a fair rate according to your experience and ability. However, for many personality types, achieving the recognition and remuneration they deserve can be extremely difficult. Having the conversation alone can be a daunting task and many people avoid the issue altogether, either because they don’t know how to ask or are too nervous to try. This results in capable individuals working for less than they should be.
ENTJs are famously skilled in business negotiations, excelling in communication and achieving whatever goal they set their mind on. As a result, it’s no coincidence that they tend to have the highest average salary of all the personality types.
Conversely, other personality types often struggle with negotiating. Introverts and especially Introvert-Perceiving individuals, tend to earn the lowest salaries of all the personality types. Truity’s research also indicates that Introverts are less likely to hold managerial positions, managing just 2.8 individuals on average. This demonstrates a clear pattern between personality and pay and salary negotiations are one aspect that can hold people back in their professional life.
Whether you are an Introvert or Extravert, Feeling or Thinking, there are a number of steps you can take to help you expertly negotiate a pay raise. If you’re nervous, preparation is key to help you stay focussed during discussions and have a higher chance of your request being granted. Similarly, highlighting your value to the team and demonstrating the strengths of your personality type can help to make the process easier.
Read on for the top five strategies for negotiating a pay raise, adaptable for every personality type.
1. Decide what you want to achieve
If you’re uncertain about asking for a salary increase, it’s a good idea to think clearly about what you want to achieve before entering into any negotiations. Consider the salary range that you would like to be working for. Researching salary ranges for similar roles can be helpful to allow you to build an accurate picture of what you should be aiming for and how far you can negotiate. Salary surveys are particularly useful for this as they generate a salary report based on your current position, showing you the range of salaries among other companies in the industry.
At the same time, you need to think carefully about what you will do if your request is not granted. Prepare yourself for the best and the worst case scenarios. If a salary increase could make the difference between staying or leaving the company, you need to be honest with yourself about this aspect. Taking the time to get your aims and priorities clear in your mind will ensure that you enter into negotiations with a solid position and can argue your case to the best of your abilities.
Moreover, it can be worth considering benefits outside of your salary. If your request for a pay raise is refused, perhaps you could negotiate flexible working options or extra training opportunities instead. Consider what benefits you would be happy to receive and offer these as an extra area for consideration if you are refused a salary increase.
2. Communicate clearly
Your chances of being granted a pay raise will be massively influenced by how you’re able to communicate your request. Choosing the right moment is one aspect of this; try to time the meeting for after you’ve achieved a significant goal rather than during your annual review, for instance. This will allow you to better show your commitment to the team and you’re more likely to be successful. A one-on-one meeting is also likely to be most beneficial so that you can communicate your ideas fully. This further avoids putting your manager in a difficult situation and you should be able to have a more honest open conversation.
Clear communication includes non-verbal signals as well. Try to dress appropriately for your meeting to demonstrate that you‘re taking the discussion seriously. Pay attention to your body language and try to come across as open and confident as possible. Though this may be easier said than done, do your best to make eye contact and keep your hand movements calm and purposeful. These small adjustments to your body language can help to communicate your message in a clearer way and show that you believe in what you are saying.
There is some debate around whether requesting a pay raise over email is acceptable. The jury is still out but I tend to believe that if you’re extremely uncomfortable about talking to your manager and you will be able to express yourself more clearly in an email, then this may be the better option. However, the same rules still apply as in a face-to-face meeting, try to avoid emotional statements and be concise. Similarly, be prepared that many managers will probably still want to talk to you in person so you will need to reiterate what you said in your email.
3. Use your strengths
As an individual, you have a very personal set of strengths and weaknesses. This makes your value to the team highly individual and will be the base from which you can negotiate. In order to be effective and confident in your negotiations, having a clear understanding of what you bring to the team can be really important.
Something as simple as reading about the strengths of your personality type can give you some inspiration for your specific skills in business. Though these will be different for every person, they can give you a launch pad to think about your own strengths and areas where you excel. As an INFJ employee, for instance, you could highlight your problem-solving abilities, as well as your teamwork. Think about the times when you have gone above and beyond your job description and used your personal strengths to the best of your ability. Recognizing these strengths and highlighting them in your salary negotiations can help to demonstrate your value.
4. Prepare examples to show your value
In using your strengths, it is crucial that you also provide evidence of your abilities with clear examples. While some personality types like ENTJs and ENTPs are not afraid to speak openly about their strengths, other types including ISFJs and INFP may shy away this kind of self-promotion, preferring to stay out of the spotlight. They tend to be more focused on the overall strength of the group and the harmoniousness of the workplace rather than championing their own contribution. However, this means it can be particularly difficult for some types to achieve recognition for their hard work, including salary increases.
In these instances, it can be helpful to have some concrete examples prepared to demonstrate your contribution to the team. It is crucial that you can demonstrate your worth during salary negotiations - this is the one time when you really have to speak up for yourself!
If you are able to think of at least three instances in which you bought value to the team, where you came up with an innovative idea or performed a task to a high standard, this can be extremely beneficial when it comes to negotiations. Look for examples that show when you’ve demonstrated your commitment to the company, even if you were working as part of a team.
5. Be firm
One of the biggest problems for many individuals in salary negotiations is a reluctance to cause any difficulty or offense. Sound familiar? Similarly, many people are held back because they are unwilling to push forward their own needs and opinions in the workplace. This is particularly true for types like ISFPs who can find it difficult to make their opinions heard.
If this is something you struggle with, it is doubly important to be firm in your salary negotiations. Try to avoid bringing emotion into the discussion and instead focus on concrete facts. Though it may feel natural, do your best not to apologize for asking for a pay raise, you are not doing anything wrong in requesting a review of your salary. In fact, it is usually expected.
If you are able to prepare before you go into the meeting, you should find it easier to say what you need to and convince the person on the other side of the desk that you are worth the investment. As hard as it might seem, you need to be composed and confident. Don’t be afraid to talk about yourself and your achievements.
Remember, if you are not successful this time, that doesn’t mean you will never get a pay raise. There are a whole range of reasons why your request may be refused and often it might not have anything to do with your work. If the answer is ‘no’, make sure to ask what you need to do to be given a pay raise, then work towards making the answer ‘yes’.