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How to Negotiate a Pay Raise

Get Help from an Experienced Outplacement Coach, Joel Garfinkle


  1. Spend six months preparing facts and records for your negotiation interview.
    Be adequately prepared for this interview with well-documented statements about your work and the results you have produced. Keeping a daily journey just for all your facts and records can prove an invaluable aid in getting the raise you want.
  2. Highlight your major contributions to the organization.
    In particular, document and focus on results that might have been overlooked during your formal review by your employer. Examples of the foregoing might include performing above and beyond the employer's expectations, contributing creative and innovate ideas, money-saving ideas, and other solutions to problems.

    Be aware of what your peers and supervisors say about you. Make detailed notes about what supervisors and peers say about working with you, your achievements, what you mean to the team or the organization. Often these laudatory comments are made orally, and never find their way into your formal review or to upper management. This list of informal commendations can become the key points which prove your worth to the organization.
  3. Documented facts overcome any objection to a raise.
    An employer can't deny the hard facts, which prove you deserve what you are asking for.

    Be prepared for the type of objections employers bring to the negotiation. The employer might come forward with, NO we can't afford to give you a raise right now or the average raise is 3% and this is the most we can give. You need to respond with all of your documented facts by stating something like the following, I understand this is all you can give, but I have done this and this and this (keep stating what you've done in response to every - no - and the boss will soon realize that the company must give you a raise because you've done so much for the organization). Another good response when the boss mentions that the average raise is fixed is: I'm not an average employee, what I've accomplished is above average and should be looked at and rewarded from this perspective.

    Know what the average is for your industry, your division, Your position. Find out what the average increases in salary are and what the averages are in comparison with your company.

    Allow the employer to go through its formal performance review process before presenting your agenda. Management will have a much greater chance of hearing you when you've listened and affirmed their process.
  4. When your ready to present your case, be well-organized.
    Present your case in an intelligent and thoughtful way that shows your preparation and seriousness of your case. You might say the following in order to transition into your agenda: I have some valuable facts which should be considered as you go through your recommendations and decisions regarding my future within the organization.
  5. Ask for at least 10% more than what you truly feel you deserve.
    This will give you more breathing room to get exactly what you want. Even though it's hard to sell yourself, it's important to say what you deserve with confidence and conviction. Remember that the hard facts you've collected don't lie and speak the truth. Let these numbers and facts speak the truth for you and bring confidence to your review. By the way, if you think about all your overtime, innovative ideas and solutions to problems, you deserve more than they could ever pay you.
  6. Role-play your review.
    By going over your review and the type of questions you will probably receive before the actual formal review process you will be prepared and ready for all types of questions.
  7. Visualize the performance review in your mind.
    Go over the review with the employer asking you questions and you responding in exactly the way you want to. See yourself in top form with all your preparation paying off. In the end, see the employer offering you exactly what you wanted and you agreeing with the amount given to you.
  8. After the boss gives you your answer, follow up, follow up, follow up.
    Many people have been told they would get what they asked for and then it either takes many months to become a reality or the company doesn't do what it agreed. Right then, in the meeting when you are in top form and readily prepared is the best time to get their commitment in writing. Also, that week after the review is the best time to stay on top of management and follow up with what was agreed, until the company gives it to you.