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Career Advice

How to Negotiate a Better Role for Yourself

Posted by Glassdoor Team

Career Advice Experts

Last Updated October 4, 2017

Meet Sarah. She is a twenty-something who really loves her job. In fact, it is her dream job and she couldn’t imagine doing anything else. However, the commute to and from work is practically killing her. She has to leave home two hours earlier, and she gets home two hours after work. Not only is this providing her with a lot of stress, it is putting a strain on her relationships. Sarah feels that she can do the same job (in fact a much better job due to having a more relaxed mind and body!) by working from home, but she doesn’t know how to go about negotiating this change. She is afraid it may send a message to her employer that she is not serious about her job. It might even cost her job!

Unfortunately, Sarah is not alone.

You can probably relate to Sarah, and there’s likely an aspect of your job that you’d love to negotiate to make life easier for you while you help your employer get better results. It isn’t easy, though, because there’s a lot at stake: the wrong move might just cost you your job.

Here’s how to negotiate an existing role, make both parties feel like a winner and get a much better offer:

1. Come Up With The Facts (Both Internal and External)

The first step towards negotiating an existing role is to come up with facts that show that you could contribute more to the company if your role was changed to a work at home position. There are two types of facts you could use: “internal” and “external.” Internal facts highlight facts that you think are affecting your productivity and are as a result making your job suffer while external facts highlight research that supports the kind of concession you are demanding. I give examples below:

Internal fact: “This is my dream job, and I can’t imagine working elsewhere. However, I am not deriving enough happiness from this job, and it is affecting my ability to give you my best. I have to leave home two hours earlier, and I get home two hours late. This has seriously increased my stress levels, and it makes it difficult to put in my best effort to work with a relaxed frame of mind. If we could just take the stress away by allowing me to work from home, I would be more productive and do much better work.”

External fact: “Research shows that two-thirds of managers have found that remote employees are more productive overall.”

Highlighting these two facts quickly establish that the status quo is hurting Sarah, and that a change doesn’t have to hurt her employer.

2. Focus on the Benefits and ROI for Your Employer

While you are trying to get a better offer for yourself, it is also very important to look at how your employer can benefit from the change you are proposing. In fact, if possible, highlight more than one benefit. Prepare a list, and ensure that all the listed benefits are irresistible. When you make your offer and let them see that they will get significantly more than they are getting now, they will find it difficult to deny your request.

This can’t be overstated. According to Michael Corkery, President of Pool Guard USA, “You will most likely receive a positive response if you can establish a clear benefit and ROI to your employer. It’s critical that you provide them with information to help them make a decision. If you present your case and remain professional, you have done your best and now it’s their call.”

3. Tell Your Employer to Revert to the Status Quo After a Set Period if They Don’t Get Better ROI

A final way is to make it clear that they have nothing to lose. According to Ayodeji Onibalusi of Effective Inbound Marketing, “To close the deal if your employer has any hesitation, make it clear that you’re not just going to talk, you’re willing to deliver results. And this can best be done by telling them to simply give your suggestion a shot for a set period of time and reverse things if it doesn’t work out.”

In Sarah’s case, for example, she could say: “I’m so confident that I will give you a much better ROI when I work from home. This is because I will have more time and reduced stress, as a result allowing me to do more work with a more relaxed frame of mind. If for any reason you are not satisfied with my work, or you feel that I am not delivering better results, you can easily revert things back to the way they were. Just give me three months and then do as you see fit.”

By employing the above three techniques, you can have positive success negotiating a change in an existing role, or almost any kind of offer you want in an existing job without suffering serious consequences.

Emma Johnson is a small business consultant who is passionate about eLearning and the impact technology is having on the education industry. She is a regular contributor to several top publications like eLearning Industry.


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