Written on 03 Jan 2022.
Negotiating a salary increase is an integral part of one’s professional growth. Key achievements that add value to your role should be recognised and rewarded accordingly. The successful completion of a program such as an Executive MBA (EMBA) represents a turning point in your negotiating power. And yet, conferring with your employer about a pay rise can often be a bumpy road that doesn’t yield the results you hoped for.
Below are 4 negotiating tips that will help you obtain the salary increase you deserve:
Negotiating a salary increase requires both practical and mental preparation. This will be the case even if you have an amicable relationship with your manager. Brainstorm beforehand and list all the reasons which you feel will legitimise your request.
As far as psychological preparation is concerned, a certain level of stress and angst is to be expected. Some adrenaline can be helpful. Try to prevent unnecessary amounts of anxiety, by anticipating your employer’s questions, doubts, and unfavourable reactions. If you feel confident in the legitimacy of your arguments and have prepared significantly, the odds will be in your favour.
Your annual review, although a privileged time with your manager, is not necessarily the best opportunity for negotiating a salary increase. Keep the below factors in mind before deciding to broach the subject:
Your arguments supporting a request for a pay rise need to be air-tight. You owe it to yourself to delve into the important details, facts, and figures of what you have brought to the organization so far. But also, how you have become an even greater asset following the completion of an Executive MBA. If you are lucky, your manager may have also obtained an Executive MBA and will be well versed in the value-added. If not, it may take a bit more explaining. Be factual. Show motivation and enthusiasm about your department’s and company’s future.
Don’t fall into the trap of only discussing certain successful projects that you implemented during your time in the company. This could translate into receiving a bonus for such projects in the future, instead of a well-deserved salary increase. Instead:
Regardless of whether the company you work for encouraged you in your Executive MBA journey, you will be returning to work with a whole new skillset and world of knowledge. The organisation will be able to reap the benefits of your transformation. While negotiating your pay rise, list all the new skills that you have acquired and how you plan on implementing them.
Keep in mind that if the company fully or partially financed your EMBA, management may push back on your request for a salary increase. In the case of agreed financing (or co-financing), it would be in your best interest to begin the pay rise negotiations before starting the EMBA programme. Agree on a mutually beneficial evolution of both your salary and responsibilities. This would help you avoid negative surprises further down the road. Instead of an immediate pay rise, perhaps the company could agree to increase other benefits.
According to the Financial Times “for students, the return on investment is clear, even though EMBAs are expensive. Three years after graduation, the average salary for alumni of schools in the FT’s 2018 EMBA ranking was $220,000, (approx. 195 000€) up 59 percent on the average pre-programme salary.”
Executive MBA Council (EMBAC) 2020 survey results revealed increases in compensation, as well as expanded responsibilities among graduates. The 2020 EMBAC Student Exit Survey affirmed that Executive MBA alumni received a considerable increase in combined salary and bonus compensation. 39% of EMBA graduates said that they even received a promotion during the EMBA course.
When the benefits to your employer are multifaceted, successfully negotiating a pay rise and having a subsequent return on investment (ROI) are a lot more likely. But how satisfied you will be with the numbers, will also depend on:
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