18 Ways to Negotiate a Higher Salary With Your Boss

As the economy gets worse, many of us are seeking to get paid more so we can afford to live. However, to get that raise you are looking for, you are going to have to do a little more than ask. This slideshow goes through 18 ways you can make a strong case for why you deserve a higher salary.

Understand Your Worth

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Knowing your market value is the first step in ensuring you’re aiming for a realistic and achievable salary target. Research the average salary for your position in your industry and location on sites like LinkedIn, Glassdoor, and Indeed. If you can’t find this information, ask other people in similar roles at other companies.

Timing is Key

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Choosing the right moment to discuss your salary can significantly influence the outcome of your negotiation. Consider the current financial health of the company before making your move. According to Indeed, the best time to ask for a raise is at the end of the financial year. Avoid busy or stressful periods for your boss and the company, as they increase the chances of getting a ‘no.’

Prepare Your Case

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Don’t come unprepared to ask your boss for a raise. Solid preparation involves compiling a compelling list of your contributions that have helped with the company’s goals. Additionally, highlight any additional responsibilities you’ve taken on, especially if they are outside your job description.

Express Your Enthusiasm for Your Role

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Make sure to show your boss your dedication to your job and company to strengthen your position in salary negotiations. Discuss your future plans and how you see yourself growing with the company in the years to follow. Finally, talk about how eager you are to stay in your role and grow with the organization.

Practice Your Pitch

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Confidence in delivery starts with thorough preparation and practice. Rehearse your request and supporting arguments out loud in the mirror or with a friend. Prepare for possible objections and have responses ready.

Set Up a Formal Meeting

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A formal meeting signals to your boss that you are serious and professional about your salary negotiation. Request a specific time to discuss your career development and compensation. Don’t try to discuss something this important over lunch or while standing at your boss’s desk.

Be Specific About Your Request

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Clarity and precision in your salary expectations show your boss that you have an understanding of your worth. LinkedIn says that the average raise is 3–5%, but you can aim as high as 10% depending on many factors. Avoid vague statements or ranges if possible, and prepare to explain how you came to the figure that you are asking for.

Consider Non-Monetary Benefits

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Sometimes the value of your compensation package can be significantly enhanced through non-monetary benefits. Explore options like flexible working hours, additional vacation time, or professional development opportunities. The average raise was only 4.4% in 2023, according to Forbes, so you might be better off asking for something else other than money.

Use Positive Language

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Frame your requests in a positive, constructive manner. Positive and collaborative language encourages dialogue and keeps negotiations friendly. Avoid ultimatums or negativity, as they can create tension, which is counterproductive.

Listen Actively

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When you’re talking about your salary with your boss, pay close attention to what they’re saying. This shows you really care about what they think and can help you improve your argument. If something isn’t clear, don’t be shy about asking more questions to understand it better.

Show Flexibility

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Be open to compromise and creative solutions. Consider gradual salary increases or even performance-based bonuses. Being flexible can lead to a mutually beneficial agreement, even if initial requests aren’t fully met.

Maintain Professionalism

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Always be polite and keep things professional when you’re discussing your salary. It’s important not to let your feelings take over the conversation. Just stick to the facts and how well you’ve been doing your job.

Highlight Your Loyalty

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Loyalty is a valuable asset, which is a strong reason why investing in you benefits the company. Link your growth to the company’s success by highlighting how past good performance benefited the company. After your meeting, your boss should feel like losing you is more expensive than paying you more.

Understand the Decision-Making Process

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It might be helpful to ask how decisions about salaries are made at your work. Find out what steps are taken, how long it might take, and who else has a say in the decision. When you know how things work, you can tailor your request to maximize your chances of success.

Be Prepared for Any Outcome

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It’s smart to think ahead about how you’ll react to any answer you might get—whether it’s a yes, no, or maybe later. Try not to rush into making a decision right after you hear the news. Being mentally prepared for any response allows you to handle the outcome of your salary negotiation gracefully and professionally.

Express Gratitude

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Even if you don’t get the answer you want, thank your boss for their time and consideration. Make sure to show appreciation for the opportunity to discuss your career and compensation.

This still applies even if you plan on leaving if you don’t get a raise.

Follow Up in Writing

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A written follow-up shows your professionalism and gives you and your boss a clear understanding of the terms. Outline any next steps in an email that you can come back to in the future. Don’t forget to say thanks to keep things polite and respectful.

Prepare for the Future

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Viewing each negotiation as a learning opportunity prepares you for even more successful outcomes in the future. Reflect on the negotiation process to identify areas for improvement. This is especially important if you don’t get your raise or if you are asked to wait.

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