Building the business case for your raise or promotion
I get it. You've been putting in extra hours at work or carrying more than your fair share of the load and think you deserve more. You want a raise or perhaps a raise and a promotion. Negotiating compensation is so much more than scheduling a meeting with the boss to ask for what you want.
Successful negotiation requires planning; unfortunately, many people skimp on the planning and then wonder what went wrong. Before you step into the negotiation ring you have plenty of homework to do as one of my clients is discovering this week.
In preparation for the salary/ promotion conversation I asked him to research similar VP positions at other companies. In addition, he needs to identify compensation ranges for similar positions in his industry so he knows what to ask for and can validate it. He should be able to find some of this information online, especially since more states are requiring that companies provide a salary range when posting a job. For more specific information, he may need to tap into his network, in this case a former boss, to get the most up-to-date data on compensation, likely bonus opportunities and perks.
Next on his do-to list: compile a list of recent accomplishments and monetize it. Since he is looking for a significant increase in compensation and promotion from Director to Vice President, he must build a business case to justify it.
This is where things get tricky. A jump to VP requires a shift from do-it-yourself workhorse to visionary leader. His current resume and list of recent accomplishments speak to his ability to deliver an amazing amount of work. That is well and good; however, they downplay the strategic, big picture skills that made it possible. As a VP he will need to deliver amazing results through others. This is a paradigm shift for most people.
To position him for promotion we'll have to demonstrate that in many ways he is already performing at the Vice President level. This is where his research on similar VP positions will come in handy. Reviewing similar executive-level job descriptions alongside his resume will help him appreciate and embrace the higher level critical-thinking, strategy and leadership skills that played a significant role in his most recent successes. This in turn can provide insight into how best to highlight the skills and qualities he will utilize in a senior executive role.
After our initial coaching session, my client came away with a better understanding of who the decision-maker is. (Surprise, surprise, it is not Human Resources; their role is to facili
tate the results of the decision). He has a plan for getting on the decisionmaker's calendar, a new member of the Executive team, for an introductory meeting. He also has a new appreciation for the role that planning, strategy and timing will play in the outcome.
Successful negotiation is not a one and done event. The greater the amount at stake, the
more research, planning, and strategy involved. My client cannot expect that the decision to promote him to a newly created VP position will be made lightly or in one meeting. He must be in it for the long haul.
Mary Jeanne Vincent, career expert and strategist, has a coaching practice in Monterey. She may be reached at 831-657-9151, mjv@careercoachmjv. com, or www. careercoachmonterey. com.