Q: I've become friends with the woman who does payroll at my company. Now I know everyone's salary, including two people at my level who make much more than I do, even though I've been there a lot longer. How can I negotiate a raise without letting on that I know?
A: Mention your coworkers' salaries and chances are your friend's head will roll. Instead, mentally etch a commensurate number in your head, below which You. Will. Not. Budge. Your experience and assertion speaks for itself, so no need to out others' salaries as justification. If the company won't pay what you deserve, then you have to make a decision about whether you continue with a firm that doesn't value you. — Faith Salie, host, public radio's Fair Game with Faith Salie podcast
That's good advice, but there's one thing I'd add: Do some research to determine what others in your field with your experience are making. That will give you a benchmark. Present this information to your boss with a list of your accomplishments and how they have benefited the company. The term "industry standard" has more value in a salary negotiation than "my coworkers make X amount." — Lisa Caputo, chairman and CEO, Citi's Women & Co.
From the May 2009 issue of O, The Oprah Magazine
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