6 Questions To Ask Yourself When Negotiating A Raise

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Note card with handwritten "How much is your time worth"

Well?

At some point, every professional must ask for a raise. The logic behind this is simple: No one is going to give you one if you don’t ask for it. Besides, many times you have a better chance at winning the lottery than having a salary increase come on its own.

As prep work, answer the following the six questions and brush up on how to have a difficult conversation with your boss because, let’s face it, asking for a raise can bring up a lot of nerves and anxiety.

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1. Why Do You Want This Raise?

This is more for your personal motivation than your boss. In fact, your boss doesn’t even need to know the answer to this question.

If you know the reasons why you want something, it’s easier to get it. You’re open to solutions, you can come up with a dollar figure, and people can sense it. You’ve got conviction, not just a fuzzy idea.

So why do you want it? Do you want to donate more to charity? Do you want to buy healthy food? Do you want to start a side business?

2. How Much Are You Asking For?

Answer the following question: What is your worth? Come up with a dollar figure and aim higher than your initial reaction to account for negotiation. I learned that little trick my canvassing days, and it works like a charm.

3. Why Do You Deserve A Raise?

Gather up all the information you can about why you should get this raise. In fact, you may want to start collecting data a few months in advance. Here are some examples of things you should look for:

  • How have you helped the company make more money?
  • How have you stepped up to the plate?
  • How did you improve a company process?
  • Is your productivity output higher?

Once you’ve collected the data, make sure to put any numbers, reports, or recognitions into a binder for easy access while talking to your boss.

4. How Low Will You Go?

Have a clear picture of your least acceptable dollar figure. This is the number that you refuse to go under when asking for your raise.

Chances are that if you aimed higher than your gut reaction, you won’t have to go there—but it is useful to have this number in mind when negotiating.

If you need a little extra help in the negotiation department, check out Classy Career GirlLevo League, and our parent site, saltmoney.org. They all have oodles of information on how to negotiate.

5. What Is Your Boss’s Communication Style?

Do they like things quick and to the point? Do they actually enjoy stories? How do they communicate best? Knowing this will help you determine how to approach your boss and how to make your proposal.

6. What If I Still Don’t Get The Raise?

Evaluate the situation. Is there a strong chance you’ll get it soon? Like within the next couple of months? Or is it just not going to happen?

If it’s the latter, this may be a good sign it’s time to look for work elsewhere. Rather than moping about not having gotten a raise, use the fuel to help you find a company that will pay you what you’re worth.

Have you successfully negotiated a salary increase? Share what tactics worked for you in the comments.

(Photo: cackhanded)

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