Monterey Herald

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.

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