How To Negotiate Your New Salary After A Promotion

Getting new responsibilities should come with a matching paycheck. This article explains how to make sure your new compensation is in line with your new role.

So you've landed a new position with more responsibility and a better parking space in front of the office. Congratulations! Now for the tricky part: what kind of compensation should go with the new role?

If it was your employer who approached you about the promotion, they probably already had a dollar amount in mind. That doesn't mean that's the final, set-in-stone word on the matter; if you can demonstrate that your value exceeds the initial bump in pay, there's a good chance you can eke out a little extra.

If it was you who finally twisted your boss' arm enough to land you a promotion, the job is both easier and harder at the same time. On one hand, you must have been able to showcase your qualities enough to get you the promotion. That means you have some momentum and know what cards to play. On the other hand, recycling the same exact arguments again won't cut it. In other words, you need a new angle.

Start by comparing your education, experience and type of tasks with others at your level. There's tons of salary surveys and free research available on the various job hunting websites - browse around and try to get some hard numbers for your geographical region.

Next, try to identify your biggest strengths compared to the others. If you have a Master's degree where most others only have a B.A., that's one of your aces. If you did a stint in the Marines, play up the teamwork aspect and ability to focus under extreme stress. Working in a global firm? Mention the fact that you speak four languages and spent three summers working as a bartender in Italy, giving you a leg up on understanding the local culture.

Simply put: bring up whatever you have that other's don't, and explain how that quality increases your value to the company. Don't try to cover up any weakness you may have compared to the others, but don't bring it up unless your boss does. And if it does come up, try to put it to rest quickly without seeming evasive.

Don't focus too hard on the dollar amount - there may be internal policies in place that regulate pay ranges for different types of employments, or there may be pressure from your boss' boss to keep payroll under control. In this case, seek alternatives that are acceptable to you and your boss.

Fringe benefits may include an extra week of paid vacation per year, or why not make that a Hawaiian vacation paid for by the company, pegged to a specific performance goal? Or perhaps you can ask about a cash bonus plan? Depending on your new role, there's most likely going to be one or a few primary goals your boss really, really cares about. That's where you want to talk about incentive plans.

What about the golden handcuffs, stock options, that made so many tech geeks filthy rich during the dotcom bubble? You can ask, but the trend is for companies to get stingier with non-executives' options. Besides, you can have a million stock options - but they're all perfectly worthless until the market price exceeds the strike price.

Having said that, there's no reason to frown on them or leave them out of the discussion altogether. There's zero risk on your part, and if you luck out, well, that just makes things all the sweeter. But don't go buying that Ferrari on credit before you've actually cashed in (and paid the taxman his one pound of flesh - stock options tend to be taxed very hard, so consult with your accountant beforehand.)

Depending on your industry and size of company, there are many options that may not seem immediately obvious. Put some thought into it and see if there are any additional non-cash benefits you'd like to have as a backup in case the chief shoots down your proposed raise. Good luck!

© High Speed Ventures 2011