How to Negotiate a Raise

If you have been reluctant to sit down with your boss and request the raise that you feel you deserve, you’re not alone. Almost 60 percent of workers are hesitant to have this conversation with their employers. Before you schedule time on your calendar and your boss’s, you will need to do the prep work in order to maximize your success rate during negotiations.

Below are some tips that will make this uncomfortable task more manageable for all parties involved.

  1. Timing is imperative. Scheduling this conversation ahead of time is a good opportunity to prepare your boss. It’s likely that salary negotiations make your boss uncomfortable since they always don’t have final say in the decision. When do you schedule your negotiation meeting? Trying to find time to during a busy period for your company may mean that your manager will be stressed and focused on other business issues. On the flipside, if you arrange a conference during a slower period, there may not be enough room in the budget to justify an employee’s increase in pay. Yearly performance reviews are typically a good time to initiate the discussion of a raise.
  2. Know your number. Before you go into the discussion, know the number you plan to ask for. Do your research by checking sights like Salary, Payscale, and Glassdoor, or by speaking with other peers in your industry. Have a backup plan. You can also negotiate benefits whether it’s another week of vacation, more responsibility, or training and certifications.
  3. Practice makes perfect. Don’t let your nerves get the best of you. Grab a friend and role-play the conversation that you want to have with your boss. Practicing will help you know what words to say and boost your confidence.
  4. Show your boss the numbers. If your performance has been stellar, this makes the negotiation process more straightforward. Make sure you record your performance so that your achievements can demonstrate your value to the company and why you’re worth the amount you’re asking for.

If your boss says no to a pay raise, try leveraging an increase in other benefits and forms of compensation. The decision may come down to your performance. Ask for consistent, constructive feedback so that you know how to earn that “yes”. From there, request another compensation review in three to six months.

Sometimes companies are reluctant to negotiate pay raises and increased compensation. If you find yourself in that position, it may be time for you to evaluate if your company is a good fit for you at this point in your career.