There are a number of ways you can approach the salary negotiations for a new job within the same company. You can start with a little insider snooping to find out what the previous employee received. Add to that enough ammunition to build a case for more money based on your experience and knowledge of the job. Or, you can steel yourself for a negotiation as if you never worked for the company before and this is your first go-round with this employer.
Research the industry before you enter the negotiations. You need to know what other companies are paying employees in comparable positions. The facts should support your arguments, especially if you know your employer can’t get someone else to come in and do the job for less.
Set a goal. Determine what’s most important to you. You usually take into consideration perks and benefits when you negotiate a salary, so set your sights on the ultimate package before you enter the negotiations. For example, you may be interested only in the pay, so an offer of a bigger office or a more prestigious title doesn’t do anything for you. Know that before you go into the meeting so you won’t be swayed or caught off guard with such offers.
Prepare ahead of time to demonstrate with specific ideas and plans how you will perform in the new position. With your inside knowledge of the company mission and goals, you should be able to prepare a really good case for more money. Use your access to company profit and loss statements to show how you will increase profits in a division that has experienced losses in the past, for example. Show how the company will save money with you by talking about how your previous experience transfers to the new job; you won’t need the training the company would have to spend for with another candidate.
- Do a little networking before you enter the negotiations to get managers and important decision-makers on your side. The politicking you do prior to the negotiations can help you get around roadblocks you may encounter from HR or from the new department head. A little pressure on your behalf from the owner or the CEO can tip the scales in your favor.
- Be prepared to walk if you don’t get the salary you need. Luckily, you already have a job and may be able to just turn down the new position and keep your current job. On the other hand, if it’s the new job or nothing, you may have to prepare a plan B that includes an exit strategy if the company won’t pony up to meet your requests.
Linda Ray is an award-winning journalist with more than 20 years reporting experience. She's covered business for newspapers and magazines, including the "Greenville News," "Success Magazine" and "American City Business Journals." Ray holds a journalism degree and teaches writing, career development and an FDIC course called "Money Smart."