Moving up the corporate ladder wouldn’t be possible without negotiation. Although many people feel awkward and shy about asking for a raise, the truth of the matter is that it’s an essential part of your career path. Below you’ll find four of my best tips for scoring the raise you want.
Like most career-related conversations, asking for a raise requires confidence in what you’re proposing. If you head into a meeting with your boss feeling uncertain about whether or not a raise is justified, she might sense your discomfort and it could make your case seem less convincing. Have faith in yourself! If you’ve been pulling extra weight at work or picking up more assignments now that a coworker has left their position, you have reason enough to ask for more. Make a list of everything you’ve been doing that goes outside of your typical job description and write down achievements of growth or success you’ve made during your time at your company. Once you recognize the value you bring to the table on a daily basis, your confidence will shine through when it comes time to talk. In my eyes, it’s all about making things tangible and speaking to your boss in a way they will receive well because it makes sense from an organizational perspective.
It’s crucial to know exactly what you’re going to ask for when you’re negotiating, so be prepared to state the specifics. You should have a number (ideally a range that starts with your minimum and ends with something 30% higher than that) written down in a notebook along with the key reasons you feel like you’ve earned that salary increase. Think about what would make you happy and do your research to confirm that what you’re asking for is fair. Websites like Glassdoor.com are helpful if you work at a larger organization because you can put in the name of your company, office location, and job title to see the salary ranges reported by employees who have worked there. Not only will looking at this information help you understand whether or not you’re asking for an appropriate amount, but it will also show your boss that you’ve done the legwork.
When it comes to figuring out how much to ask for, research done by Columbia Business School suggests that asking for a precise dollar amount versus a rounded number can be more impactful when negotiating. They contribute this to the fact that stating you’d like $72, 350 instead of $70,000 shows that you’ve done plenty of research to see what salary you should earn given your experience. Keep this in mind when you’re determining the raise you desire.
It can be frustrating when new responsibilities are added to your plate and you’re not compensated for them. While it’s tempting to immediately ask for a raise in this situation, I think there’s something to be said about proving you can handle the work before bringing it up. Let’s say your company hires another employee with the same title as you, but she takes over some of your work and you’re given new tasks instead. Rather than going to your boss a few days after the switch, prove you can not only handle your new to-do’s but can go above and beyond with them. This will give you leverage come time to negotiate. Consider saying something like, “In the last month since Kelsey started, my job responsibilities have shifted quite a bit. I’m now doing X, Y, and Z in addition to my regular work, and have continued to meet my deadlines and receive positive feedback from my team members. Could we talk about adjusting my salary to reflect my new workload?” Remember to speak with confidence and have the specifics written down before you have your conversation.
Confide in someone you work with or a mentor from an internship or former job. Talk to them about why you feel you should be given a raise (which will hone your confidence about the situation!) and ask them how they’ve secured raises in the past. This is also a good opportunity to practice what you’re going to say and know that you’re fully prepared. You’ve got this!