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How to Make a Strong Case When Seeking a Raise

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Summary: Learn the best way to approach salary negotiations with your current employer when you feel you aren’t getting your fair share.



Question: A survey I read leads me to believe that I am being underpaid, as compared to others with the same title and responsibility. I don’t have a comfortable life because I don’t make enough money. How can I handle the salary-negotiation process better at the time of my next job offer?

Answer: Salary negotiation is one of the most significant — yet frequently dreaded — encounters in the workplace. Why wait until your next job offer? There is no time like the present to stand up for yourself. If you are truly underpaid in your current job, build a case for a raise.

Continue your research. Preparation is the key to successful negotiation. One survey isn’t enough to base your pay on. Review the salary tables organized by industry and job function at Check locally to see how rates compare in your area. Also, attempt to discern how well your company pays in general.

Document your results. Keep track of your accomplishments and contributions. Your boss is most likely to entertain your request if it is presented in the language of “value to the employer.”

Practice your presentation. You may wish to script your opening remarks. Decide on two or three main points that explain why you are requesting a raise at this time. Anticipate objections and identify how you will handle them diplomatically.

Be both firm and flexible. Set a positive tone for the negotiation. Never argue; instead, ask questions to better understand. Listen carefully to potential objections, and suggest compromises when appropriate. Think beyond pay. There may be other negotiable areas of your work life that are important to you (such as a flexible work schedule or additional vacation time). A confident approach, combined with flexible options, may be just the right combination to win the recognition you deserve.

How to Make a Strong Case When Seeking a Raise by
Authored by: Andrew Ostler

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