Tips for Negotiating a Raise

I recently spoke with someone who has been at his job for two years and enjoys the work and the company he works for. However, he is at a point in his life and career where he needs to make substantially more money. How can someone in that situation approach their supervisor or HR to discuss options without signaling that they’ll likely leave without an opportunity to make a better salary?

The best approach is to make the discussion about how you can help the company, according to Debra Boggs, co-founder of D&S Professional Coaching.

“I recommend making your ask all about the company and how you can better meet their evolving needs rather than about your need for a higher salary,” Boggs suggests. “Think of areas (where) you could take on more responsibility and gain additional skills that would benefit your employer or ways you could help them solve a problem.”

It’s not that you don’t want or need a bigger paycheck, of course. But, as Boggs notes, “Coming to your boss or to HR with a plan of how you’d like to grow in your role while helping them meet their strategic goals will show that you are aligned with their mission, not just looking for more money.”

And don’t forget to remind them that you really don’t want to leave. “Reiterate how happy you are with the company and that you’d like to make it your long-term plan to stay and grow with them,” she adds.

Researching the market rate for your current position is also important.

Angelina Darrisaw, founder and CEO of C-Suite Coach, suggests checking resources such as LinkedIn Premium and Glassdoor to find out where your salary falls in relation to the industry standard.

Boggs agrees. “Make sure to do your research on what the market rate is for your current role and any additional responsibility you propose,” she says. “This way you know whether the salary increase you ask for is in-line with others in your area, industry and job function.”

If you discover your salary is lower than it should be based on industry data, Darrisaw says to present the research as the basis of your argument and ask for a raise to match where you should be. “Frame the conversation as a development conversation, and share that you would like to know what is required to grow at the company, financially and otherwise,” she says.

No matter how professional or positive the conversation, a raise, of course, isn’t a guaranteed outcome. What then?

“If a raise is not an option, you can try to negotiate for other things, like company-sponsored professional development or training, a more flexible work schedule or a work-from-home option,” Boggs says.

Or, of course, move on.


(Article written by Kathleen Furore)