Get That Money, Girl! How To Negotiate a Raise

February 4, 2011  |  

Evaluate Yourself  and Your Employer Honestly
Before beginning the negotiation, it’s important to determine if you truly deserve the raise. Why do you deserve this? And, no, the reason shouldn’t be that you truly deserve those hot red-bottoms you’ve been eying. Is your contribution to the company significant enough to warrant this move? If not, you may be setting yourself up for failure before you even begin the negotiation. If you have honestly evaluated your situation and feel strongly that you deserve a raise, begin to prepare your case.

First, flip through your employee handbook and see if your company has specific procedures for salary increases. If so, make sure to follow those published procedures. Also, if your company is in very deep financial troubles, now may not be the time to ask for a raise. Finally, think about your relationship with your boss? Is it strained? Does she even know who you are? Did she overhear you calling her the “dragon lady” in the company cafeteria? If so, it can seriously affect how receptive your supervisor is to your request.

Gather Salary Information
Find out how much a person in your position is generally paid in your city by visiting Salary.com or a similar site. You can then determine weather you are making below the average and how much of an increase is reasonable to request.  Teachers SHOULD be making as much as Kobe, but unfortunately they currently don’t.  Keep your request within the salary range for your position.

Document Your Contributions
Show them you’re the star you are! Have you brought in a big account or increased sales? Employers often respond to numbers. Calculate how much money you brought in and record it on a spreadsheet. If your job cannot be measured in strictly monetary terms, think of other ways to quantify your contribution. Have you implemented changes that have increased productivity? Have you gotten glowing reviews from customers and clients? Also, if your company has regular performance evaluations and yours are positive, gather copies to bring into the meeting with your boss. Finally, try to think about what objections your boss may have and have answers ready to address them.

Make an Appointment with Your Employer
You shouldn’t blindside your employer. Don’t tell her you want to talk about your summer vacation and then try to slip the whole money thing in. Let her know know why you want to meet so that she can prepare things on her end. In your meeting, hand her a copy of your accomplishments and contributions. State your case calmly and back it up with the facts you’ve gathered.  Disclose how much of an increase you are looking for and answer any questions she may have.

Move Forward
The best case scenario is you get that raise. Yay, you! Your boss may offer you something other than money as a form of compensation such as more vacation time, the option to telecommute, etc. However, be prepared for the chance that things may not go your way. It’s natural to be disappointed, but you’ll be alright. You may not have gotten the raise, but now you know where you stand. In that case, determine your next move. Do you want to stick it out with your current employer? Do you want to begin searching for another job? It’s up to you to decide how want proceed.

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