I'm getting promoted, what do I ask for?

Dear Nasty,

My current boss has been impressed with my work and is building a new role she’d like to hire me for, which will be a promotion. She's going to share the job description when she's finished writing it. I have a feeling she will ask me what my salary requirements are if I were to pursue this. What salary range I should reach for? What % salary increases do promotions typically yield?

Sincerely, Onmywayup

Dear Onmywayup,

Congratulations! I’m so excited for you AND for the company for getting the opportunity to retain their best and brightest talent. Great for both parties. Here's how I would go about setting an anchor salary number. 

Step One: Get the Title/Role

Once she's done writing the JD, look at the scope of responsibility, the title, and do your own market research on what the range of that salary is for someone in your city. If she asks you before or right when she shares the JD about salary compensation, say you’d “I am so excited to be considered for the role, I’d love to continue to work with you. I like to have 24 hours to reflect on the scope of the role, perform my own research, and come back to you with a number that I think makes sense for me and the company.”

Step Two: Do your research

You asked what the typical salary % increase is during promotions. I think this is not the best approach. Do not anchor this salary to your current salary. Instead, use market research to identify a range that is inline based on the title, scope of role and your location. Also, consider how this new role affects topline revenue compared to your current role. 

Step 3: Present the data

Come back to her with this data, and say, "based on my research, the salary range for someone with this role and responsibility set in this city is $X." Don’t give a huge range.

** Sidenote on ranges ** Why would you give someone the option of paying you more or less of market rate? Makes no damn sense. 

The importance of silence

We have a tendency to negotiate ourselves down from our asking offer. Silence is key when you present your asking salary. Do not do this: “Id love it if we can get to $86,000. But I totally understand if that is not doable..... I’m happy to land at $80,000. I really need $70,000 to live so that is as low as I can go." 

No. Sit with the discomfort of silence and give your manager a chance to respond! 

Do NOT negotiate yourself down under any circumstances. Say your number and then be quite. Practice the sentence above without the part where you qualify it. 

Reminder: You're amazing

You yourself said that your manager is considering YOU for promotion because she's been really impressed with your work. As a manager, it's hard to find great people you enjoy working with. She wants you on her team and she'll do what she can to make you excited about the role, which includes bringing your reasonable, data-driven salary proposal to the HR team. 

You've got this!