How to Ask For a Raise at Work: Pre-Negotiation

By · Thursday, September 26th, 2013

You are finally in the hot seat directly across from your boss.

Are you nervous and sweaty? Well, if you are properly prepared you won’t be.

Being prepared includes:

Be warned that to get the desired raise, you and your work history have to be worth it, or your boss will think you are merely demanding money without merit. In that case, you either won’t get the raise, or you could push the envelope and actually get replaced shortly down the road.

Also, you must know and believe you have power. The ultimate power you have – the key – is knowing you can go elsewhere. If you are not aware of your worth in the marketplace, then you lack power. How do you go about negotiating more money for yourself?

Start by leading off the discussion with something like this:


“I came in to discuss my worth and career track to this department and company. I feel it is time to adjust my salary upwards since I have been adding value to my position.”

Your boss may say anything to potentially weaken your resolve, offering such excuses as:

The list of negative comments your boss might give is almost endless, but, to you, it should not matter. Your raise is not going to bankrupt the firm. If it would, then you are in too financially shaky a firm to begin with and should be looking for a position with a more stable company. In addition, company policies are often broken when the matter is deemed important enough.

However, you do not need to address any of this with your boss. Doing so would only put you on the defensive. Do not voluntarily address your boss’s ranting about why you shouldn’t or can’t receive a raise. But, do politely say,

“I understand. I also came in to share with you my accomplishments over the past ___ months. They include …”

and start listing your extra achievements and accomplishments.

Find out the important next step you’ll need to take…



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