Negotiating your way to the top!

The key to progressing in your career is the ability to successfully negotiate your way through the performance appraisal process. The career appraisal process should be an ongoing and organic process, so there is a never a bad time to sell yourself. Your boss isn’t going to simply hand you a promotion, it’s up to you to sell yourself with metrics backed by data.

Here are three ways to successfully negotiate your way to a better career:

1. Practice your whole pitch with a friend or family member.

Practice makes perfect when it comes to your pitch. Successful negotiation boils down to feeling comfortable. It’s easy to take for granted the polished finished product, but the heavy lifting that goes on behind the scenes is critical to negotiations. Find someone to listen to your proposal so you can feel the cadence of your speaking points out loud in a conversational setting.

All men can see these tactics whereby I conquer, but what none can see is the strategy out of which victory is evolved. Sun Tzu

2. Be prepared and concise.

In order to negotiate your way to the top, you need to be explicit in terms of what you need and want. I had a Ph.D. professor who always said, “You must have the rationale to back your claims. Claims are worthless without reason and data.” I firmly believe in this mantra. Individuals need to come prepared with data on why your boss should promote you or give you a raise. You need to know what number you’re going to ask for, and you need to be prepared to explain why it’s a reasonable ask. Have all the necessary information to substantiate your ask!

3. Be confident in your delivery.

Being in the Midwest we have the tendency to be humble and not want to brag about our accomplishments. It’s imperative to have confidence in your presentation. If you don’t have any confidence in your own abilities, how is anyone else going to buy into your request? If you’ve done all your prep work and practiced your pitch, you’re on the right track. There is no time but the present to put your best self forward.

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