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Transitions Magazine

Transitions is published bi-monthly for members of the APhA New Practitioner Network. The online newsletter contains information focused on life inside and outside pharmacy practice, providing guidance on various areas of professional, personal, and practice development. Each issue includes in-depth articles on such topics as personal financial management, innovative practice sites, career profiles, career development tools, residency and postgraduate programs, and more.

Renegotiating salaries
Tom English

Renegotiating salaries

CAREER MANAGER

Are you ready to ask for a salary increase? The tips below will help you achieve success in many areas: when negotiating at the start wasn’t an option; you’ve taken on more responsibility; or you’ve gone years without a cost-of-living increase. 

Evaluate yourself

Before you approach your supervisor for a raise, critically evaluate your performance and worth. What activities or responsibilities do you complete outside of expected? Have you gained any credentials or education increasing your abilities or value to the team? Are you an underperformer or overachiever? The answers to these questions justify the raise you are looking for, but if not, they provide a roadmap the changes needed to happen before you ask for that raise. 

The new salary

Once you’ve evaluated yourself, make a realistic determination on how large a salary increase you are seeking. It helps when you know the average salary for your position and responsibility level at your place of employment and region. Many websites provide regional averages, but be careful as these can be skewed. Your human resources department can provide pay scales for your employer based on title and time with the company. While it’s ideal when your employer offers a number to start negotiations, it is unlikely, so be prepared with a figure going into the conversation. 

Identify point of contact

Traditionally, you will speak with your immediate boss. If you have a co-funded position, the institution paying you is the place to start, and they will coordinate the other funding partners for approval.

Timing

Timing is crucial! An annual review is a great time to ask. If one isn’t in the near future, send an e-mail requesting a meeting. When asking for a meeting, make it clear you will be discussing a salary increase so as to not catch them off-guard. At times, your employer/company won’t be in the financial position to grant pay raises. As we saw with COVID–19, funds can be tight, so understand the overall economic position and adjust your conversation knowing these factors. 

Alternative options

When a monetary increase isn’t possible, don’t forget other negotiable perks. If you have to pay for parking, this can be covered or reduced. Additional education opportunities or membership fees for state, regional, and national associations are an option. PTO hours can be added on. Asking for funded stock options is another benefit that may pay out in the long run.

Now that you’ve prepared, remember you are the only expert on yourself! When you sit down to negotiate, be confident. You have already evaluated your worth, decided what you are asking for, and are ready to discuss. If your boss isn’t willing to meet all your terms, ask what you need to do in order to get there. Sometimes it can become a stepped-out process, and receiving specific feedback on the necessary performance required is useful. 

Good luck!

Jessica Comstock, PharmD, BCNP, is the vice president of pharmacy quality assurance and regulatory affairs for the nuclear pharmacy company PharmaLogic Holdings. She loves all outdoor activities, a relaxing night with friends, and spending time with family. 

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