Love your job, but not your compensation? You’re hardly alone.
Career planning site Zippia reports that, despite uneven pay rates in a wide range of jobs, 54%+ of professionals would leave their current position for a raise.
Even a quick look at inflation in 2022 (which peaked in June, according to Trading Economics) suggests that more people may be due for a raise than ever before.
So, how do you negotiate a raise in salary? Treat your request like any other business case by preparing your justification, metrics, and alternatives.
Use these steps to negotiate your raise in salary – carefully preparing and presenting your case for optimum results:
First, document your worth for a raise in salary.
Make a list of your recent contributions, including projects delivered, suggestions raised in meetings, or initiatives you’ve volunteer to take on, or revenue you’ve produced. Then put figures to these successes, either by estimating hard dollar amounts or percentages of improvement.
Also, review your bottom-line additions. Do you negotiate vendor agreements or evaluate them to get the most cost-effective service? You are saving money that can be documented as justification for your raise. Glassdoor even offers a preparation guide to help you identify key points.
Next, pull out commendations you’ve received for your work. These comments can be in any form, such as a great email from your boss, or from a client who has praised your ability to handle tough situations.
Next, conduct salary research for your role – and don’t forget perks.
After you’ve documented your value, use research to bolster your case.
Consider whether you could trade (or even want to add) perks, such as additional remote work days, for a higher salary.
You can ask for a mileage allowance, transportation expenses, or the use of a company car if you’re traveling to client sites. Some employees have successfully requested compensation for child care expenses, according to ALM Benefits Pro.
If you’re required to don a suit for the office, consider asking for a wardrobe allowance, which is common in higher-end consulting firms.
Anything required by your employer in order to perform your work can be up for negotiation.
Select the best time to meet with your boss… and expect some questions.
Request a salary meeting with your immediate boss, bringing in your fully documented request for a raise. Don’t just spring your demands on them!
Ideally, your salary request would describe how you win new clients, lead projects that generate revenue, or save millions in new efficiencies, as described above. Remember that you’re not preparing for battle, but aiming for a mutually satisfying conversation – so expect input and some questions thrown your way.
Then, get ready for the negotiation. You might need to have a few additional strategies in your back pocket, such as descriptions of new responsibilities you’ve shouldered or how you always look out for other members of your team (in other words, intangible contributions) to add to your justification for a raise.
Be ready for pushback on your request for a raise in salary.
Some bosses may be caught off guard when you bring up your salary, in which case you can ask for some time to meet with them again.
You might also be told the salary is “set” and there’s no room for negotiation.
In that case, consider using these ideas to show how you are creating long-term value (or even working outside your original job parameters, if that applies):
- Do you publish or speak at conferences on a hot industry topic? Run a quick online search for earned media value calculators to show how your contribution burnishes your employer’s brand (and likely leads to more business).
- Even better, look for clients who were drawn to your company after listening to your speaking engagements or finding your content, as this translates DIRECTLY to revenue.
- Have you developed and trained other team members – who then contributed bottom-line value in savings, new sales, or other ways?
- Did you coach consultants who produce revenue in paid engagements? Calculate the metrics associated with THEIR work to show you influenced the bottom line – especially if this is outside your job parameters. You could make the case that you’re actually working in sales or training as well as your “day job.”
As noted by Salary.com, it’s in your best interest to remain calm and focused on your strategy if your request for a raise is denied.
Negotiate your salary raise with even-deeper tactics.
In either your next meeting or while addressing pushback, reinforce your promise of future value.
For example, you could earn more remote work days by mentioning your documented high productivity rate… allowing you to confidently predict that you can get MORE work done than your in-office peers.
You might also point out how you could impact the bottom line in the future, such as an anticipated amount of savings you expect to produce in upcoming vendor negotiations.
If you’re planning to earn a coveted industry credential, you could also request higher compensation upon completion, especially if this will make your employer look good (and earn more business). A future raise can also be requested if you’ll hit a new target, such as bringing in a specified amount of new accounts.
Consider requesting an earlier salary review, especially if your boss is reluctant to grant an immediate raise. This expedited review allows you to revisit a potential salary increase and provide more proof of performance. No matter what you negotiate, however, get it IN WRITING.
Of course, if your request is denied, you can then consider next steps, which might mean some combination of waiting it out at your present job, continuing to demonstrate your value, or updating your resume for a new opportunity.
In summary, presenting your case for a raise can be a valuable exercise in summarizing your ROI to your manager.
These strategies give you a clear template for requesting a raise in salary, from documenting your value to approaching your manager, conducting salary negotiations, and sealing the deal. The idea is to honestly and clearly lay out your successes and discuss what the future holds for you as a valuable contributor.
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