As inflation continues to take its toll on the economy, many professionals are looking for ways to increase their income. While some may choose to take their talents elsewhere and seek a higher-paying job, or even add on to their workload by taking on a potentially lucrative side hustle, others are content with their current career of choice and would rather earn their bump in pay another way: a raise.
However, unlike applying for a new position at another company, the path to achieving a salary increase at your current job may not feel as clear. That’s why we asked nine members of Young Entrepreneur Council to share their best tips for how to successfully negotiate a salary increase and why doing so can help you get the increase in pay you deserve.
1. Build A Clear Case For Why You Deserve It
Asking for a salary increase because you’ve “been here a while” or because someone else got one won’t get you far, but proactively presenting hard evidence of the impact your work has had on business KPIs can be a very effective strategy. If possible, come prepared with data demonstrating how your efforts contributed to increases in sales or conversions, retention, traffic or engagement and more. If your role is not directly tied to metrics, be sure to provide positive customer or colleague feedback. Not only will this demonstrate your value to the company, but it will also make it easier on your manager to advocate for you to upper management. – Samuel Saxton, ConsumerRating.org
2. Do Your Homework On The Market
When it comes to negotiating a higher salary, do your homework! Take some time to research and gather market data on what others in your position and industry are earning. Having this solid evidence on your side allows you to confidently explain why you deserve better compensation based on industry standards and the value you bring to the table. When you’re armed with factual data, it becomes harder for your employer to brush off or underestimate your contributions. Plus, by comparing your current salary to similar roles, you can build a strong case for a salary adjustment. Taking this strategic and professional approach shows that you’ve done your due diligence, making it more likely for your negotiation to end successfully. – Jennifer A Barnes, Optima Office, Inc.
3. Focus On The Positive Outcomes You’ve Achieved
You work hard, but the bottom line is real outcomes. During any discussion about salary, show the specific and positive changes you have made, especially any during an economic downturn. If you’re able to detail and quantify the impact you have at your job in positive terms, you’re more likely to receive a positive response, even in challenging times. For example, bring specific cases of how you’ve improved workflow, increased sales, improved traffic or attracted more clients. Using data to quantify your positive outcomes helps present your case in more logical and concrete ways. If your raise request is denied, ask for a salary review after a specific time and ask what quantifiable benchmarks you need to reach to get the raise you deserve. – Shu Saito, SpiroPure
4. Put Yourself In Your Employer’s Shoes
Put yourself in your employer’s shoes! This will help you come up with solid reasons as to why you should get that raise and why your employer might be willing to give it to you. With this in mind, you can think from your employer’s perspective. What are you bringing to the table that is of great value to them? What is your unique contribution? How has your work contributed to your company’s bottom line? By focusing on how your employer benefits, you will be able to discuss points they are interested in and they need to pay attention to, making your odds of a successful negotiation greater. – Riccardo Conte, Virtus Flow
5. Focus On The Value You Bring
One tip for successfully negotiating a salary increase is to gather evidence of your value and contributions to the company. Document your achievements and quantify results whenever possible. Research market rates to provide context for your negotiation. Align your contributions with the company’s goals and emphasize the positive impact you’ve made. Prepare a compelling case that connects your achievements, market research and alignment with company objectives. Choose an appropriate time to discuss the increase and approach the conversation professionally. Presenting evidence strengthens your position, increases credibility and improves your chances of a successful negotiation. – Jared Weitz, United Capital Source Inc.
6. Align Your Skills With Your Job Description
One effective tip for negotiating a salary increase is to highlight how your skills align with the job description. By emphasizing the direct correlation between your abilities and the requirements of the role, you demonstrate your value and worth to the organization. This approach is useful because it provides tangible evidence of your capabilities, making it difficult for employers to overlook your contributions and the impact you can have on their success. By showcasing your skills alignment, you position yourself as a valuable asset deserving of a higher salary, increasing your chances of a successful negotiation. – Pratik Chaskar, Spectra
7. Think About The ‘Why’
When negotiating your salary, always focus on the “why” aspect, because that’s what follows after you’ve stated your demands. So, work on your response to the why. Why should your employer increase your salary? Is it because of the current market conditions, better salaries offered by competitors for similar roles or your past accomplishments? The reasons could be one or many. So, come up with a solid response to the “why” and it could turn the odds in your favor. – Jared Atchison, WPForms
8. Be Prepared To Answer Tough Questions
Want a better salary? You better be prepared. This could involve answering tough questions from your employer about why they should give you the raise or why you deserve a salary increase. Too many employees make the mistake of asking for a raise just for the sake of it. The ones who successfully negotiate higher rates maintain lists of talking points that establish their value. So, be ready to put everything you can offer on the table and do some research about the person you need to win over, including their limitations and their weak points. Preparation is useful because it helps you answer tough questions that may expose your weaknesses. It shows your employer that you’ve put thought and effort into what you’re asking, giving you more bargaining power. – Bryce Welker, Crush The CPA Exam
9. Let Your Achievements Do The Talking
To successfully negotiate your salary, it’s essential that you know how to showcase your skills and capabilities to let employers know your true worth. This doesn’t mean just filling up your resume but instead letting your accomplishments speak for themselves. In a nutshell, rather than worrying about hacks or shortcuts to negotiate your salary, just focus on your area of expertise, excel in it and let your achievements do all the talking. – Stephanie Wells, Formidable Forms