If you’re talking to an existing employer, you need to analyse what you are currently producing for them. “Tick through everything you do and then list all of the things you do above and beyond this. Quite often you’ll realise you’re doing a lot more than what’s in your job description,” says Rolo.
Set your emotions aside
The art of negotiation is about taking a rational approach and leaving your emotions and personal circumstances out of the conversation. Your overdraft and that wedding you’re attending in the Bahamas? Not your employer’s problem. “Keep the conversation factual and based on numbers and data rather than feelings,” says Rolo.
Leaving emotions out of it works on both sides, however. If you work for a small business or one that you know is struggling, it can be easy to feel guilty about asking for more cash. For Uwagba, if you are entitled to a raise you should ask for it, regardless of the businesses’ financial circumstances. “Don’t worry about whether they have the budget, just ask them for whatever you think you deserve,” she says. The worst that can happen is they’ll say no.
And finally, it’s worth remembering that your employer or client will likely feel just as awkward discussing money as you do. “If you go in being confident and forthright, that immediately puts you at an advantage,” says Uwagba. “Clients don’t love having those conversations either, and you can use that to your benefit.”
Negotiation skills need to be developed, they aren’t something people are just born with. But if you do your research, keep your emotions at bay and ask yourself the right questions before each conversation, you’ll be sealing the deals you deserve.
This article is part of a new series opening up conversation surrounding how the industry works in financial terms. Read the first in the series here, featuring illustrator Steph Coathupe on why we should encourage greater transparency with creative earnings.