Get Paid What You Deserve: 6 Steps to Negotiate Your Salary

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Asking for a raise can be intimidating. However, it’s an essential conversation you need to have if you want to be fairly compensated for your work.

Forbes reports that only 37% of employees negotiate their salary. But with the right preparation, you can increase your chances of success. To ensure you’re not sabotaging your own request, avoid common mistakes. Instead make a strong business case and emphasize your professional achievements. 

1. Bringing Up Personal Reasons

Asking for a raise based on your professional accomplishments and ability to surpass expectations is reasonable. 

However, significant changes in your personal life, like having a new child, relocating, or experiencing financial struggles, aren’t strong justifications for a salary increase. 

It’s important to keep personal matters private and separate from work. Similarly, managers should also refrain from prying into personal issues.

2. Hinting at the Possibility of Quitting

Threatening to quit is a risky move when you’re asking for a raise. Making ultimatums puts you in an uncomfortable position and can turn negotiations into an adversarial confrontation. Your goal should be to demonstrate your value to the company, not hold it hostage.

If you’ve received a job offer from another company, it’s fair to bring it up in the conversation with your supervisor to hear their counteroffer. On the other hand, bluffing about having another offer is a foolish gamble. Don’t threaten to leave if you’re not ready to follow through.

3. Choosing Bad Timing

Plan your request appropriately. Get to know your company’s evaluation procedure. Does the company conduct assessments every quarter, bi-annually, or annually? Talk to your colleagues in a confidential manner or reach out to your HR department. 

4. Opting for Email Requests Over Personal Meetings

Asking for a raise through email rather than in person can be perceived as less personal and professional. When you request a raise, convey your reasons for seeking an increase in compensation. Do so in a manner that demonstrates your commitment to the company and your belief in your own worth.

Personal meetings can provide an opportunity to make a face-to-face connection, establish rapport, and present your persuasive arguments. On the other hand, email requests can be more impersonal or may not convey the same level of commitment or conviction. Additionally, emails can also be misinterpreted or misconstrued. Lastly, it can be more difficult to gauge the recipient’s reaction.

5. Using Co-Workers Salary as a Reference

Using a co-worker’s salary as a reference when asking for a raise can be problematic for several reasons:

  1. Confidentiality: Your co-worker’s salary information is private and it may be inappropriate for you to share it or use it as a reference. Doing so could also violate company policies and potentially damage your relationship with your co-worker.
  2. Unreliability: A co-worker’s salary information may not be accurate, and it may not reflect the specific responsibilities and performance of your role.
  3. Lack of Relevance: Your co-worker’s salary may not be relevant to your own job and responsibilities. Different roles and levels of experience can have widely varying salaries.
  4. Negativity: Bringing up a co-worker’s salary during a raise request can create negative feelings, such as resentment or jealousy, and can potentially harm the morale of your team.

Instead of using a co-worker’s salary as a reference, it’s better to focus on your own performance, contributions, and market data. Research industry standards and average salaries for your role and use that information to make a compelling case for your raise request.

6. Asking When Money is Tight

Asking for a raise during budget cuts can be perceived as inappropriate or insensitive. The company may not have the resources to provide salary increases during budget cuts; asking for a raise could damage your reputation and make future salary increases difficult to negotiate. 

Be aware of the company’s financial situation and make a compelling case based on performance and contributions.

Asking for a raise ensures you’re being fairly compensated for your work. Avoiding common mistakes increases your chances of successfully negotiating a raise. Make a strong business case, emphasize your achievements, and be sensitive to timing and the company’s financial situation. 
With the right preparation and approach, such as the steps provided by Glassdoor, you can make a compelling case for a raise and negotiate the salary increase that you deserve.