Tips for negotiating a pay raise

Asking the boss for a raise can be nerve-wracking, but one uncomfortable conversation can lead to a significantly higher paycheque. It’s worth it.

In addition to the money alone, getting the pay you deserve is a major component of feeling happy in your job. The psychological benefit of being properly compensated for your hard work is another good reason to bite the bullet and ask for a raise.

Here are some tips to help you get the result you want.

Do your homework

Before meeting with your boss, read up on the average salary for someone in your position in your area. It could be that you deserve more than the average, but it’s useful to see what the going rate is so that you can defend your request. Websites like and make it easy to look up what the average person in your role is paid.

If you work for an organisation that has different salary brackets, ask a colleague in human resources to provide you with an overview of the different pay grades. This will help you determine whether you meet the criteria for a higher salary.

Start high

As with all negotiations, it’s best to start high. After asking for a pay raise and getting it straight away, people often wish they had asked for more. Once you get a raise, it can be a while before the opportunity comes around again.

Although you might leave room for your boss to talk you down, have a figure in your head that you won’t go under. Part of negotiating is being happy to walk away from deal if you aren’t given a satisfactory offer. Remember, you have something that your company wants: talent, skill, experience and everything else that makes you a valuable employee. You aren’t merely asking for money; you’re negotiating a trade. It’s business!

Back up your request

There’s a good chance that your boss will ask you why you feel you deserve a raise, so be prepared with an answer! List the achievements and qualifications that make you eligible for more money. If your company has a set pay scale, explain that you meet the criteria to move into the next pay grade.

Have a plan B

Although most companies will want to ensure you’re competitively paid, it’s important to have a backup plan in case your boss turns down your request. If you’re told that the company can’t afford to pay you what you’re asking, or that you need to wait and ask again in several months, know that you can always look for another job. Simply knowing this can actually make you a stronger, more confident negotiator.

You don’t have to make a decision in your meeting—in fact, you shouldn’t. Instead, carry on with your work as you research job vacancies in your area. Searching for a job whilst you still have a job is an ideal situation, and a far better alternative to staying at a company that doesn’t pay you the wage you deserve.

What are your tips for negotiating a pay raise? 

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Silversurfer's Assistant Editor

Hello there! I’m Rachel and I’m the Assitant Editor for Silversurfers. I work behind the scenes to bring interesting, informative and entertaining subject matter to the Silversurfers community. I hope you enjoy the features we have shared with you. Please feel free to comment below and share your thoughts with us, we love to hear from you!

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