Career Advice

10 Ways to Get that Raise from your Boss

min read
Mikaela Thompson

Does it feel like the right time to ask for a raise? Check out these tips on how to confidently negotiate your worth. 

We’ve all contemplated taking the plunge and asking our boss for that raise we deserve. The reality is, it’s a stressful move. One where the employee’s mind vacillates between self-doubt and belief that it’s deserved. The lead up to the salary request meeting with your boss, can fill you with trepidation that maybe your boss will not only say no but fire you under the guise of ‘surplus to needs’ or something along those lines. Here’s advice from 10 managerial and other business professionals for negotiating a salary successfully.

Prepare thoroughly before the salary review meeting with your supervisor.

1) Mentally prepare: have confidence you have bargaining power. The company is already heavily invested in you as an employee, so leverage this fact.

2) Understand that employers expect you to negotiate: you don’t have to, and shouldn’t, accept the first offer or counteroffer that they make to you. Employers leave wiggle room in anticipation that you will haggle. Failing to do the latter, will leave available money on the table e.g., tactfully, ask if the employer can increase their offer. 

3) Devise a plan: the right plan is key. Your goal is to make it super easy for your manager to understand exactly what you deserve and be able to communicate that to the higher management levels in the company.

The plan.

1) Do your research on the industry and company: estimate your market value. Use online sites like Glassdoor, or PayScale to find out the current market rate. Factor in the average salary for the role, your years of work experience, your industry, company’s size, and location. Consider how your current salary compares. Use this answer to create a target salary range to share with your boss/supervisor – a salary range will give you more wiggle room for bargaining. The top of the range should be a number you’re happy to come down from, the bottom should be at least the salary you want.

2) Build your case for why you deserve the raise: create a brag book to inform your boss, who probably has a limited knowledge of your achievements, how you’ve added value to the company e.g., you could refer to a recent performance appraisal to do this. In respect of value, it’s important to quantify your accomplishments. Use data to concretely express how you will turn your skill set into actual future successes at this company. Highlight areas where you’ve surpassed your general responsibilities. But, don’t be tempted to embellish or make false claims as your facts are likely to be checked. If you fall into this trap, you’ll likely forfeit your raise and be viewed with suspicion for the remainder of your time at this company. 

3) Be flexible: Be prepared to consider benefits instead of a raise, especially if your supervisor has budget constraints and can only give raises at certain times of the year. E.g., will you consider more holiday time, flexible or shorter work hours, tuition reimbursement, initial job assignment, or other perks of interest to you? 

4) Put your case in writing: combine your target salary range, accomplishments, awards etc., into a single email. This will make it easier for your supervisor to forward your request to the decision-makers.

5) Request a meeting with your supervisor to discuss salary: Don’t let your mind run amok. Keep your emotions in check. Things can go awry very quickly if you’re not careful in your approach. Keep in mind, this is a professional discussion, not a confrontation. Be calm, rational, and professional. Don’t ask for an immediate answer. Your supervisor will probably have to run it past HR or other co-managers.

6) Use clear, precise language: e.g., not ‘I’d like…’, but ‘I’m requesting’; not ‘Sorry to bother you’, but ‘Based on my successful track record in this role’ to be more compelling and assertive.

7) Don’t burn your bridges: Rein in your emotions, don’t go in arrogantly and don’t paint yourself in a negative light. It pays to remember, after this meeting you’ll still be working in this company and your boss will still be your boss. Watch what you say! There’s no need to make your employee-manager relationship awkward or uncomfortable. Besides, skilled negotiators are sought after so being seen as such could set you up for a promotion or a new role!

8) If you can’t get what you want, discuss a plan to get there: Don’t walk away or sulk if you get a ‘No’. Take it as an opportunity to keep the discussion moving forward e.g., ask, “I know that an increase of $,,,, isn’t possible, but what can the company offer? Or ‘What skills do I need to develop in the next six months to achieve a pay rise?’ A ‘No’ now, doesn’t mean you can’t set yourself up to get that raise later.

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