With the New Year approaching, it is prime time for negotiating your salary for next year. For many people, the conversation is uncomfortable and just the idea makes their stomach sink. Often people leave reviews feeling worse than when they started. This is not good for the organization or for you.

Rather than hoping this year will be different, empower yourself to make it different. Jessica Grant is one of the top trial lawyers of our time. Having successfully tried numerous "bet the company" cases with hundreds of millions of dollars at stake, Grant knows what it takes to persuasively advocate for yourself to attain your dream salary. She shares several strategies for how you can optimize your compensation in the New Year.

1. Tout your accomplishments.

What is it you accomplished this year? Does it align with the mission and what your manager considers important? Identify several key ways your work added value to the organization so you can speak to them with confidence.

If you are having a hard time with this exercise ask yourself why. Do you make judgments about people touting their own accomplishments? Do you worry that you will be perceived to be bragging about yourself? Recognize that describing your accomplishments is not egotistical or bragging. It is necessary so you can help management understand the value of your contributions.

2. Ask for what you want.

Do not just hang back and wait for someone to recognize your work or value. Ask for what you believe is reasonable and fair in light of your contributions. If you don't ask for what you deserve, you likely won't get it.

3. Have a plan.

Identify exactly what it is that you want and why you deserve it. Think about the possible responses from others. Play out in advance different scenarios of how the negotiation could unfold with a friend or a trusted colleague so you are fully prepared.

4. Be concise.

This goes back to having a plan. When advocating for a raise or promotion, identity a few key points and focus on those. Making too many points will dilute the force of the message. This also helps you avoid rambling or coming across as disorganized.

5. Project confidence.

Even if you have to "fake it until you make it." Believe in yourself. This is absolutely critical. It is rare that someone else will believe in you if you do not first believe in yourself.

Do not let the fear of "no" hold you back or prevent you from asking for what you believe you deserve. If you do not initially get what you want, do not take it as a personal rejection. This is business. But be ready to make real changes if the organization does not ultimately recognize the value you provide.

You are empowered to change your experience by changing your thoughts and approach. These strategies will support you in building the new frame of mind required to optimize your compensation. Rather than dread the review process, you may even start to embrace it. Your manager, and organization, will appreciate this as much as you do since the positive energy will flow through the entire organization. Ready. Set. Go get your dream salary!

Do you have inspiring insights to share? Please contact me directly to explore the possibility of doing a future article together.