By Ross Macpherson
employers will raise your salary out of the kindness of
their hearts, and it's just plain naive to assume that
if you work hard your boss will notice from afar and
reward you accordingly. We all deserve to get paid what
we're worth, and honestly the onus is on you to make
certain you are suitably compensated.
So what do you do? You have to get into the habit of
taking responsibility for your career, your salary, and
your overall job satisfaction. It's not treasonous to
ask for what you deserve, and if you are consistently
performing well or above expectations, it may be time to
renegotiate your salary. But it's up to YOU to make the
case. Below I've outlined 5 tips to help you negotiate
your next raise.
1. Provide Evidence
thing you can do is ask for a raise without some valid
reason as to why. It's also naive to assume that your
boss knows everything that you've done. So here's what
Keep a performance diary detailing what you've done,
what results you got, how your work has benefited the
company or helped it achieve its objectives.
possible, quantify your efforts - how did you make them
money, save them money, save them time, and by how much?
special projects or added responsibilities that you've
taken on, and the results. Also keep a note of
attributes that you display, including willingness to
take on new responsibilities, willingness to work
overtime, positive attitude in the face of adversity or
research into the going market rate for your expertise.
Before meeting with your boss, put together a brief
summary and have 2 copies ready (one for you, one for
2. Consider Timing
the most logical time for discussing a raise is during
your performance review. However, this is not written in
stone. Sometimes working outside the schedule can work
to your advantage:
If your boss isn't the type to closely monitor your
performance on an ongoing basis, then make certain you
send him/her an email every so often "updating" them on
what you have done/achieved - building your case over
time can be very effective Consider booking a time to
speak with your boss directly after another of your
great successes . . this can be a great time to
"introduce" the idea since you've got a bit of leverage.
No matter when you chose to meet, be sure to actually
schedule a time . . . don't meet in the hall or casually
drop the topic over a beer after work.
3. Keep Your Cool
The key to
negotiating a raise, like any negotiation, is to present
your case objectively and logically. Do not let your
emotions enter the discussion:
Never get angry or upset.
Never threaten to sabotage the company, its client
Never threaten to hold something back
performance-wise... even if they eventually give in,
your working relationship would be irreparably damaged.
Never threaten to quit unless you've got good cause and
you really REALLY mean it.
4. Be Professional and Make Your Case
sit down, go through each point in order, focusing on
your contributions to the company. Again, keep your
personal reasons out of it . . .your raise should be
based on your worth, not your need. Other important
Try not to compare yourself to others, keep the
conversation about you.
Be prepared to state a figure (either a dollar amount or
a percentage increase) and be able to explain how you
came to that figure.
5. Lay the Groundwork for Next Time
you get the raise this time or not, be sure to lay the
groundwork for your next meeting and discussion:
Ask your boss what he/she would need to see in order to
get a raise NEXT time . . .try to hold them to something
Arrange a date to review your performance 6 months from
Tirelessly document your achievements until your next
Like any negotiation, securing a raise requires some
preparation, planning, and finesse on your part. But
remember: it's not unreasonable to expect to be paid
what you're worth, so build a strong case and make it
clear to them how valuable you really are.
Ross Macpherson is the President of Career Quest, a
Certified Professional Resume Writer, and a Career
Success Coach who has helped thousands of motivated
professionals advance their careers. Career Quest is a
dedicated career marketing firm specializing in
professional resumes, job search coaching, and interview