Money Talk - How to negotiate a raise with your boss

Updated: Aug 17, 2018

When it comes to talking to your boss about money, specifically, a pay rise, many of us find the conversation awkward and uncomfortable.

Not only can it be stressful, but if it isn’t delivered well, you risk it turning into a negative situation for both you and your boss.

However, if you’re reading this, you’re most likely at a point in your career where you are expecting, or feel like you deserve a pay rise, and if you haven’t received it yet, well, that money conversation needs to happen.

To make that conversation, and it’s outcome, as successful and smooth as possible, we’ve compiled a few do’s and don’ts for you to consider when negotiating a pay rise.

Do your research and establish a standard

When it comes to negotiations, knowledge and preparation is key. Before you approach your boss, inform yourself as much as possible. What are the market averages for your profession? What amounts are being offered in the industry? What is the current pay rise process in your office? The answers to these questions will allow you to develop a practical and feasible monetary amount, and demonstrate to your boss that you’re on top of your game.

Don’t compare yourself to other employees

While your research will likely provide you with estimates of what others are making in the industry, it is imperative that you keep the conversation between you and your boss. Comparing yourself to your colleagues will ring some alarms, as mentioning other employees and their salaries weakens your credibility and respect.

Do use specific and unique examples to support you

A pay rise is an extra benefit, so what are the extra things you have accomplished to deserve it? How have you gone above and beyond your job requirements? What are some things that set you apart? Document the success you’ve reached in your position, making it as specific and data based as possible. You can be all talk, but showing your boss how you’ve contributed to the bottom line, your office and team will strengthen your case.

Don’t try to leverage time or personal reasons

Spending 3 years in the same position doesn’t mean you deserve a pay rise. The good old saying, quality over quantity, is crucial here. Your actions and accomplishments speak louder than your period of employment. You’ll also want to avoid personal reasons, like an increase in rent prices or wanting to save for a holiday. Highlight why you deserve a pay rise, not why you need it.

Do prepare and practice your pitch

The key to successful negotiation is delivery. In order to be as confident and assertive as possible, you’ll want to prepare and practice your pitch. Think strategically and be proactive. Think of all the possible answers your boss could give you, or questions that may catch you off guard.

Don’t underestimate the timing of the conversation

Give the conversation it’s best chance at success by also giving your boss time to prepare. Don’t catch them off guard, as you’ll probably receive a response you’re not happy with. Timing is key.

Do respect their response, but don’t take a flat ‘no’ as an answer

Best case scenario, your boss agrees to giving you the pay rise. But in the chance that this doesn’t happen, stay calm and respectful. Reflect on the conversation. There may be many reasons as to why your pay rise has been declined, and you have a right to know them. Ask questions and request feedback or advice on what you can do to get the pay rise, including an interim pay review.

Good luck, and remember, you have a higher chance of getting a pay rise if you ask for it!

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