How to Negotiate a Pay Raise

How to Negotiate a Pay Raise

by Makenzee R. Taylor, on October 25, 2022
What goes through your mind when you think about negotiating a pay raise? Is your primary concern about how you will effectively bring up the topic and present your case? The following is guidance and encouragement for this sometimes-uncomfortable discussion.

Get your timing right. 

Not everyone is entitled to a pay raise just because they want one. Here are some questions to ask yourself before considering asking your boss for a meeting:
  1. When was your last pay raise? If you recently received one within the past year, why are you requesting another raise so soon?
  2. Will your skills, performances, and work ethic justify asking for more money? Do you outperform your colleagues?

One of the best times to negotiate a pay raise is after a period of consistent performance, which will help prove your case and show your boss that you deserve it.

Ask for a meeting. 

Asking for a meeting may be the easiest step in terms of preparation, but it may also be the hardest to complete because it pushes you to take action. Whether through an email, phone, or in-person request, this is where it all starts.

Do your homework.

Make sure you attend the meeting prepared and ready to justify your worth. You will talk about your performance during this meeting. Create a list of your recent achievements, knowledge, and new ideas you think could be an asset to the company. Emphasize your accomplishments as a role model, if applicable. And be prepared to address why now is the right time for you to be considered for a raise.

Sell yourself.

You need to be prepared with facts and evidence on why you are deserving of a pay raise. Show your boss that you are taking this request seriously and with confidence. Arguing your case and answering any of their misgivings is okay in this setting. This type of meeting can be intimidating, but remember that you are doing this for yourself, and it is generally just a one-on-one meeting with your boss.

Your boss may not be the final say in whether you get a raise or not, so you should also write your case down and clearly state the facts that will help them communicate your request to the relevant parties.

What comes next?

If you are granted a raise, congratulations! Just remember that pay raises are like a business transaction. You must abide by your end of the bargain and provide something in return, such as elevated skills, communication, performance, and work ethic.

If you are declined a pay raise, try to avoid feeling undervalued or burn any bridges. Instead, wait six months and approach the topic again. If you subsequently land another work opportunity, always remain professional with your previous employer. Not only do you want your previous employer to give you a raving referral, but you may cross paths with them in the future.

Nobody else can chart your career course but you. While some of these steps might seem intimidating, the result could grant you a better future.
Makenzee R. Taylor

Makenzee is an HR Assistant with LandrumHR Workforce Solutions. She is a graduate of Florida State University with a degree in marketing. Born and raised in Northern California, Makenzee enjoys hanging out with friends, going to the beach, traveling and binge-watching TV shows in her free time.

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