Negotiating your salary can be a tricky business. You don’t want to push too hard and exaggerate what you can do, but you don’t want to sell yourself short either. You need to demonstrate why you’re worth a certain salary – and make your boss understand what value you bring to the company.
It can be a tough balancing act. The man in this story had no problems at all though. I could learn a thing or two from this guy!
One cold Chicago morning, Kenneth knocked on the door to his boss’ office. He walked in with a purposeful stride, looking determined.
Kenneth asked, “Excuse me, sir, may I talk to you?”
His boss replied, “Sure thing. What can I do for you?
“Well sir, as you know, I have been an employee of this prestigious firm for over ten years.”
His boss nodded and replied, “Yes, and we’re glad to have you with us.”
Kenneth took a deep breath and said, “I won’t beat around the bush. Sir, I would like a 10% raise. I currently have four companies after me, and so I decided to talk to you first.”
“A raise? I would love to give you a raise, but this just isn’t the right time.”
Kenneth nodded but persisted, “I understand your position, and I know that these are rough times economically, but you must also take into consideration my hard work, pro-activeness and loyalty to this company for over a decade. I want to keep working here, but that needs to go both ways.”
His boss looked at him for half a minute with his stern eyes, hoping that Kenneth would crack under the pressure.
Boss fires back
The boss said, “So that’s where you stand, then? I can probably swing you a 3% raise, and that’s straining the budget as it is. Anything more is just not possible.”
Kenneth felt his palms get sweaty, but he stood his ground and said, “Respectfully, my salary here is undervalued. These four companies are clearly interested in getting a hold of me. I can’t go lower than 10%.”
His boss stared at him for another half a minute, and then chuckled, “Alright then, remind me never to play poker with you, son. You’ll get your 10% raise if you stay on, deal?”
Kenneth breathed a sigh of relief and said, “It’s a deal! Thank you, sir!”
They shook hands. Just as Kenneth was turning to leave, his boss called to him, “Before you go, just out of curiosity, which companies were after you?”
Kenneth replied with a smile, “Oh, the Electric Company, Gas Company, Water Company and the Mortgage Company!”
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