Boss Moves

How to Ask and Negotiate a Pay Raise

One of the most nerve-racking moments of any job can be negotiating a pay raise. It takes the perfect balance to achieve this intricate goal that you’re setting. Go in too hard and you may burn your bridges; go in too soft and you could miss your chance (cnbc.com). So, how do you find your happy medium and still get those extra coins on your check?  Here are some tips that will help you snag that pay raise you’ve been yearning for. 

1. Do your Research

Research is an instrumental part of settling on the proper pay raise. This will help to ensure that whatever you ask for is attainable and well within your reach. There are numerous websites that can help you determine what other companies are paying for your position. Online sites like PayScale and Salary.com are  useful for providing a ballpark figure for people working in a similar role (cnbc.com). However, even though they provide an excellent starting place for negotiations, do not rely on them entirely. Also, don’t be afraid to ask around in your peer group. It’s looked down upon sharing salaries in the work place, but it never hurt to ask people in your field who don’t work at the same establishment. 


Photo Credit: (deeperlook.com.au)

2.   Prepare your pitch  

Think you deserve more money? Be prepared to prove it. Make a list of your specific accomplishments. You need to show your boss the value you add to the team and point out specific instances you went above and beyond the call of duty. This is the time you want to capitalize on all of the pros you bring to the company and how beneficial you are for business. Add that time you helped reduce costs efficiently on a project or helped your team reach a deadline early. These are the types of instances that you need to bring to the forefront of your employer’s mind. Remember to keep the conversation strictly professional and business-oriented. Stray away from telling your employer about your financial situation or how much you need the money. Their priority is the well being of the business. 

3. Negotiating a number

One of the cardinal rules of negotiation is that you should never be the first to name a number. That question will pop up for sure and you’d be pressured to give a number. If your efforts to deflect this discussion isn’t successful, give a narrow-ish range which you’d be happy with if they offer the lowest of that range. 

Treat this like an interview or a pitch for an important project. If you can, start interviewing externally for a job you’d like as if you’re planning to leave your current role. Although more tedious, this has various benefits of improving your interviewing skills, and getting an actual job offer gives you a proper benchmark for a compensation package and what you’re worth. Not to mention, it strengthens your bargaining position later on. 

4. Consider negotiating benefits and perks 

Sometimes you may have to settle for other incentives other than a financial raise. A raise doesn’t have to come in dollar signs. So before entering negotiations, think of other areas you are willing to negotiate such as vacation time, flexible work hours, stock options or tuition reimbursement.  If you are more flexible in the type of raise incentives you are willing to receive, this is the perfect alternative for if your boss says no to a “monetary raise.”

5. Timing is everything 

Planning your pitch could be the difference between you scoring your pay raise or striking out. A good time to plan it is right around the time of your annual review. If you know you’ve done a knockout job, this would definitely be your time to shine. If your annual performance review isn’t any time soon, approach your boss after you’ve done well on a project or taken on extra responsibilities (kiplinger.com). Showcase to them that you are truly worthy and well deserving of your pay raise! 

Good Luck!  


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