Dos and Don’ts for Negotiating a Raise


You may want a raise, but are you ready for one?


Here are some dos and don’ts for when you’re ready to negotiate your next pay raise:


DO your homework

Be prepared to communicate how you bring value to the entire company. Do your research, keeping in mind how long you’ve been with the company, your performance there, and the company’s size.


DO pick the right timing (for yourself and the company)

Wait at least six months to one year in a role before planning to negotiate. This way, you’ve had time to prove you’re an asset to the company. It might be the right time for a raise for several reasons; maybe you’ve taken on greater responsibility, exceeded targets, or received an attractive new job offer elsewhere. If your company is facing financial hardships, belongs to a declining industry, or is in a hiring freeze, hold off from negotiation if you can. 


Consider your employer’s schedule too. Ask your boss to set up a time that works for them to discuss a potential raise. Don’t blindside them; they need time to prepare too.


DO be confident

If you are ready for a raise, show confidence. Spell out why you’ve earned it. Analyze, show the math, and provide evidence measuring the value you’ve brought to the team that makes you worthy of a pay increase. 


DO follow up

Follow up with your employer, showing appreciation for their discussion with you regardless of the outcome. You’ve spent the effort illustrating why you deserve a raise–continue to prove it. If you want another pay bump in the future, continue to show respect to your employer. 


Little things like communication and politeness go a long way in sustaining your job and salary growth while maintaining a healthy relationship with your employer.


DON’T lie

If you are being realistic, your boss will probably see eye to eye with you. Don’t lie or attempt to negotiate to see how high you can raise your pay. Boast about your experiences and achievements without embellishing them. Your boss eventually finds out if you’re being dishonest. If you think there could be room for better compensation–ask!


DON’T sell yourself short

Show your employer that you believe in yourself. Don’t downplay your achievements and abilities. They will give you a raise if they think the return on investment is worth it.


DON’T overstep boundaries

Remember that you are asking your employer for this, so do it respectfully. If they turn you down, don’t complain. Stay calm and put your best foot forward. Perhaps there will be other opportunities. It doesn’t hurt to have a contingency plan. Worst-case scenario, you learn from it by asking a few questions:


  • What factors are contributing to this decision?
  • How can I work towards this raise in the future?
  • When should I report back (or try again)?


Knowing you’re ready for a raise is a great place to start when negotiating one. Be professional, show respect, and prepare. Soon enough, you’ll arrange your next one–good luck!

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