How to Negotiate Your Next Raise

how to ask for a raise

A big part of making more money is knowing how to ask for it.

Whether raising your rates or asking for a salary increase is part of your immediate action plan for increasing your income or not, it likely will be at some point. And if it’s not, it probably should be.

From your employer or clients’ perspective, your personal circumstances have no bearing on how much you should be paid.

In her book, “Women Don’t Ask,” Linda Babcock writes, “A woman who routinely negotiates her salary increases, will earn over one million dollars more by the time she retires than a woman who accepts what she’s offered every time without asking for more.”

So here are some tips to help you ask for, and GET your next raise!

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First, Do Your Research

It can be overwhelming to know what you should even be asking for, so use websites like Glassdoor.com and Payscale.com to get familiar with pay ranges for your particular position, company and location.

This step is especially important if you’ve been with your company for a while, as rates in your particular market and position may have changed dramatically since you first started.

If you bring extra skills and value to the table, you can start working toward the higher end of that range.

This is also an opportunity to consider other potential asks. For example, could you ask for a more flexible schedule, more paid time off, a bigger office or a new job title?

Why Do You Deserve a Raise?

Before your boss can agree to a raise, you need to prove that you actually deserve one.

So consider these questions…

How have you helped your company or clients exceed expectations?

Did you increase profits or sell new work?

Did you take on additional responsibilities when a coworker left or was promoted?

Did you save the company money or increase efficiencies?

Remember, your boss or client will be more open to giving you a raise if you can showcase how you’ve gone above and beyond.
While you may be tempted to tell your boss that you need more money to cover child care costs or to pay for medical issues or because your property taxes went up, this tactic usually gets sympathy or a shrug, but not a pay increase.

From your employer or clients’ perspective, your personal circumstances have no bearing on how much you should be paid.

The conversation should be about how you’re fulfilling your employer or client’s needs, not about how a pay increase will help you fulfill your own.

Showcase Your Praise

Sure, it can be can be awkward when you go to bat for yourself and try to explain why you deserve a raise, but it’s essential.

The more specific you are about why you deserve a raise, and the more metrics, examples and anecdotes you can bring to the negotiation table, the easier it will be to support your ask.

So start keeping records and accumulating positive feedback you’ve had from clients or fellow employees that can speak for you.

While you can do your best to tell your boss how much you’re worth, what will really drive the point home is a printed email from a happy customer or a co-worker who appreciates your efforts.

Make Your Ask Effectively

Once you’ve done your research, gathered your data and put together your talking points, it’s time to go ahead and make your ask.

Consider practicing out loud in front of a mirror, or with a friend or family member, before you get to the negotiation table.

Once you’ve presented your case and confidently shared your desired salary, let the silence lie. Don’t undercut your ask by apologizing for it.

If your employer comes at you with a counteroffer, ask for a day or two to think it over.

If the answer is no, use that as an opportunity to ask questions. Like, “Can you help me understand what the roadblock is? Is it my performance or are there budget concerns? If it is my performance, how can I improve? If it’s a budget issue or something else, would it be helpful if we revisited this conversation next quarter?”

Get all the information you can to make sure the no is not a permanent no.

If it is, and you’re unhappy in your workplace, use that as motivation to start researching other companies and organizations that may be willing to pay you better.