How to Negotiate a Raise in Salary
Love your job, but not your compensation?
You’re hardly alone. According to career planning site Zippia, more than 50%+ of professionals would quit their current position for a raise. This isn’t always necessary, however.
You CAN request a raise in salary by building a clearly documented business case, complete with metrics and bargaining points.
Use these steps to negotiate your raise in salary, with a clear-cut value proposition and strategy for best results:
1- 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.
2 – Next, conduct salary research for your role – and don’t forget perks in your request.
After you’ve documented your value, use research to bolster your case.
Maybe you already know the next-level compensation rate in your office, but you can also use salary data from Glassdoor or Payscale for an estimate.
- Consider whether perks, such as additional remote work days, would be worth it to you (either with or in lieu of 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 workers also successfully negotiate 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.
3 – Select the best time to meet with your boss (and expect 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 – 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’ve retained valuable team members, to bolster your justification.
4 – 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, use ideas like these to show how you create long-term value (or even work 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 (even if your request for a raise is denied), as shown in the next step.
4 – Further negotiate your raise and salary terms.
In either your next meeting or while addressing pushback, reinforce your promise of FUTURE value!
- For example, you could negotiate more remote work days by mentioning a high productivity rate… allowing you to confidently predict that you can get MORE work done than your in-office peers.
- Also, point out how you could impact the bottom line in coming months or years, perhaps by setting cost-saving vendor terms or retaining high-dollar accounts.
- Planning to earn a coveted industry credential? You could also ask for more 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 in a specific time period.
- If your boss is especially reluctant, consider requesting an early salary review. This means you could get a raise SOONER, rather than waiting until your annual review.
No matter what you negotiate, get it IN WRITING. You’ll be glad you did.
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 (with those achievements you just documented!) 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 clear steps 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 valued leader and contributor.
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