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Five Tips to Negotiate Your Next Raise

Even the most seasoned professionals may struggle to negotiate a promotion, despite the fact that they deserve it! Asking for a raise can be intimidating and feel like an uncomfortable conversation to have, causing too many people to avoid the conversation completely or put it off for too long. A PayScale survey from 2016 demonstrated that only 43% of professionals had ever asked for a raise – that number is too low. The participants gave reasons for not asking such as feeling uncomfortable negotiating their salary or that they didn’t want to seem pushy. These are obstacles even seasoned professionals need to overcome!

If you have avoided this conversation for too long, read each of these tips and complete them in the order they are presented to being to assist you with this conversation. These steps will get you started. Even if you feel like you excel in promoting yourself already, read further. These tips will enable you to improve your process. 

First, realize that now is actually a great time to ask for a raise because the labor market is strong. We are experiencing the lowest unemployment rates in 18 years – strike while the market is strong.

Tip #1: Research the going rate. Use websites like Glassdoor or Indeed to determine an average for the salary range for your job. These sites will help you determine a fair rate based on your location and your years of experience. Realize that while you can narrow down your research to your location, which is important!, you will get a range from these websites. Sometimes it will be a large range. We suggest you also conduct informational interviews with others in your industry to narrow down that range (ask them for a salary range they feel is reasonable if you don’t know them well enough to ask for their specific salary). Also check job boards for positions that list the salary (some will, some won’t) to get a sense of the going rate. Having a number in mind will enable you to feel more confident asking for a raise.

If you conduct your research and realize you are unhappy with more than just your salary, take our quick Ideal Career Quiz and find out if you are on the right career track.

Tip #2: Create an accomplishments document. The best way to show your supervisor your worth is to present them with some of your most impressive accomplishments over the past 6-12 months. To do this easily, we recommend that you create an easily accessible Accomplishments Document on your desktop. Keep it up-to-date, monthly, with things such as completed projects, kudos or testimonials from clients or co-workers (save the emails), specific and marketable results you’ve achieved, testimonials or skills attained. This makes it easier to pick out the most impressive ones to show your boss when it comes time to ask for the raise in a formal meeting.

For additional advice to help you develop a Strategic Career Plan to present to your supervisor, enhancing your case for a promotion, download our free presentation, “3 Keys to Unlock Your Strategic Career Plan” here.

Tip #3: Practice your pitch. To present your best case, practice what you want to say – step by step – in front of the mirror so you see your body language and non-verbal communication. Create an outline of what you want to cover in your meeting asking for the raise. We also recommending rehearsing out loud with a friend or family member, the first few lines of what you want to say so that you will come across as calm, confident and collected. Avoid using words and expressions such as “just” and “only” since that can minimize your worth and experience.

Tip #4: Dress for the job you want. While dress codes vary by industry, take note of how superiors in your organization dress. While you shouldn’t feel like you have to wear a certain brand or item to fit in, dress professionally during the meeting but, also starting right now. Invest in a tailored suit or a pair of well-fitting polished pants. Dressing for the job you want will increase your confidence but also, enhance your brand at work making you come across as the professional who deserves the raise. Show by what you wear that you want to be there and that what you wear reflects the salary you are asking for. People will notice…

Tip #5: Close the loop. No matter what the response is to your request for a raise, find out the next steps you both need to take before leaving the room. Do you need to schedule a follow-up meeting? Do you need to see the HR department? Make sure the next steps are clear, don’t leave anything to chance. Be assertive! Finally, of course, thank your boss for their time and consideration. If you don’t get the raise you want and feel you deserve and you decide it’s time to move on, our $5 “5 Keys To Find Your Ideal Career” Ebook will enable you to determine the right next steps.