How to Negotiate a Raise

You may think you need to wait for a booming economy to negotiate a raise. However, it’s often the case that during trying financial times, top employees take on more responsibilities than ever. Perhaps you’ve picked up the slack during quarantine or maintained your excellent performance. Alternately, your raise may have been long overdue.

Whatever your situation, there’s no need to wait to negotiate a raise. Here are the four most important steps to remember when asking your boss to increase your salary.

Keep a log of accomplishments that you can share with your boss

Your boss likely has a keen sense of your contributions to the company. But also provide a list of your accomplishments, the more tangible the better during your negotiation. How much have you saved the company? What projects have you driven towards completion? You should always keep this type of log, but if you haven’t been, be sure to recreate it for your raise negotiation meeting.

Come prepared with comparable salaries in your role and area

Don’t make your boss look around in the dark for an appropriate salary figure. Instead, research what others in your area are earning in roles similar to yours. If you’re earning less than these professionals, you can indicate that you could be earning more at another company. Alternately, if you’re asking for more than is standard in your field, explain what value you add to your company.

Consider what a “raise” could look like

Traditionally, we think of a raise as more money in your annual paycheck. But this is a limited perspective. Consider if you’d like other types of compensation, like vacation time, flexible hours, tuition reimbursement, or other benefits. Even if you’re asking for a salary increase, be prepared to offer your boss an answer if they suggest one of these alternate bonuses or benefits.

Choose the right time to set the meeting

Like we mentioned before, your negotiation will be the most straightforward if your boss understands what value you add to the company. When is your value clearer than after a performance review, completion of a major project, or acceptance of a new responsibility? Time your request around one of these major milestones so your boss will be both aware of what you’ve done for the company and pleased with your work.

Certainly, negotiating a raise isn’t easy. Asking for more money can feel awkward, or even inconsiderate. To avoid mistakes, talk to someone with decades of experience in accounting and finance. Career Moves’ founder Paul Wigglesworth can help you develop a well-planned negotiation, encouraging you to highlight what’s most impressive about you. Lessen the ambiguity of asking for a raise with someone who knows how it’s done.