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How To Successfully Negotiate A Raise

Written by Hank Coleman

In a perfect world, you’d like to think that your boss would see your hard work and offer you a raise. But, that doesn’t always happen. More often than not, you’re going to have to ask for a raise, which can be a daunting task for more employees.

But, you can have a better chance at successfully negotiate a pay raise if you prepare beforehand. Here are a few things that you should consider when determining how to negotiate a raise.

4 Ways to Prepare to Ask for a Pay Raise

Understand How Much to Ask For

Before you ask for a raise, you should understand how much other people in your field with your level of education and responsibility are making. You should use websites like GlassdoorPayScale, or Salary.com to find the market rate for your job or the job that you want if you’re looking to move up with your company.

Knowing comparable salaries will give you better leverage when you ask for a raise. It shows that you’re informed and not just pulling numbers out of thin air. Knowing what others are earning also gives you an idea of the job market if your boss denies your raise and you chose to look for another job.

Research from Columbia Business School found that employees who asked for a specific salary instead of round numbers were more successful in salary negotiations. A precise salary request shows that you’ve put thought into the number and that you didn’t just take a wild guess. The researchers also found that it was more likely that you would receive a counteroffer with a precise figure instead of simply hearing “no” or “try again”.

You should also keep in mind that the average pay raise is typically between 1% and 5%. Sticking to these percentages helps you suggest a number that is realistic and more likely to be accepted.

Know How Much Value You Add

The best way to justify a pay raise to your boss is to have concrete numbers to back up your claim. How much new business have you brought into your firm? How much profit is tied directly to the work that you’ve done? Have any of your special projects led to an increase in sales or profitability? Have you taken on additional responsibility since your company hired you?

You should provide examples of the projects that you’ve worked on recently. And, discuss your accomplishments openly while negotiating. Show that you are a valuable member of the team. In the end, your performance is all that matters. Your performance is what determines if it is profitable for your company to pay you more money. It’s an investment decision on their part. You have to show your boss that you are a good investment for the company that will pay dividends in the way of new sales, customers, or profit.

Rehearse Your Pitch

Most important conversations tend to go better if you rehearse them. It seems strange to play out conversations beforehand, but it can prepare you, keep you calm, and help you anticipate any questions that may arise.

About the author

Hank Coleman

Hank Coleman is the publisher or the popular personal finance blog, Money Q&A. He’s also a freelance journalist specializing in retirement planning, investing, and personal finance. You can also find him on Twitter @MoneyQandA.

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