4 Tips for Negotiating a Raise

Many business employees are great negotiators. However, even the best negotiators often hesitate to use their skills to get a raise. They fear asking for a raise will make them look like money-grubbers. If you fit into this category, your feelings are natural but you needn’t let fear cheat you out of an opportunity. If you have done your job well and haven’t had a salary increase in awhile, you are within your rights to ask for one and there are good ways to do so.

Research First:

Business experts recommend you understand benchmarking before negotiating a salary increase. In other words, you need to know if a company is willing to pay what you are worth. Research starting salaries at competing companies, as well as how long it usually takes for their employees to get raises. Compare and contrast this with average pay for people in your field with your experience or particular skill set. Additionally, compare and contrast local companies’ salaries with those of other companies in your area. If you can show that wages and increases are similar across the board, you’re more likely to get the raise.

Don’t Bring Up Money First Thing:

An old adage says the first person to bring up money loses, and that’s especially true in the business world. If you walk into a supervisor’s office and immediately ask to talk about money, he or she will be surprised, shocked, and worst-case scenario, irritated. Instead, make an appointment first. Begin with appropriate small talk, or mention something you’ve enjoyed doing this week. Then casually bring up your research or ask if your supervisor has time to negotiate now.

Remember the Entire Package:

Salary negotiations are not only about your paycheck. They may involve negotiations for sick leave, maternity leave, vacation time, or other compensations. Again, if comparable compensation does not match what you get at your workplace, bring it up as cordially as possible. If there is a particular perk or type of compensation you want, such as vacation time, ask about that first. Finally, if there is a pressing reason to ask about non-cash perks – for instance, you just found out you’re pregnant – don’t wait too long to mention it. Otherwise, negotiations might be harder to complete.

Discuss, Don’t Demand:

Since the economy is still sluggish, many people feel strongly about raises and paychecks. This is understandable, but don’t let your concerns or emotions turn negotiation into confrontation. Remember that most employers want their workers to succeed. Go in with a positive attitude – it will make a better impression.

Scroll to Top