From the Magazine

6 Tips to Successfully Negotiating a Raise

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Are you looking to negotiate for a raise? It’s normal to be a little nervous and wonder how to properly approach things. Luckily, we rounded up the best tips from career pros that will help you nab the raise you deserve. Keep reading for the six things you need to know before taking that meeting. 

Build Your Visibility

The first step to securing a raise: Up your profile so bosses take note, says leadership expert Sally Helgesen. “One way is by sending your manager a brief email noting achievements that boosted the bottom line, such as: Our team just succeeded on X project. I had a client whose boss told her that she did excellent work but wasn’t ready for a raise because she needed to network more with clients. So every Friday, she emailed him updates about the new customers her team was bringing in. Her manager thanked her for helping him understand how their unit was operating—and she ultimately got a raise.”

Collect Your Kudos

Nearly 70% of employers say they promote folks faster based on so-called “soft skills”— that’s how well you interact with others. And you can showcase yours by recording positive feedback such as client reviews or compliments from customers, says Helgesen. Just fill a folder or create a file filled with kudos that demonstrate your people skills and use it to back up your case for a raise.

Know Your Numbers

Not sure how big a pay bump to ask for? The range for a promotional raise is 8% to 10%, says career coach Dana Manciagli. “If you’re seeking a raise without a promotion, it’s 5% to 8%.” You can also complete the salary survey at PayScale.com to help determine a fair range for your position, adds job coach Robin Ryan. “And look into whether your duties can be classified as a promotion—a secret way to get around any wage freezes!”

Boost Your Confidence

Requesting a raise could rattle anyone’s nerves—but it’s easy to boost your self-belief, assures Ryan. “Role-play with a friend,” she urges. “Practice answering any objections like, ‘You’re making the maximum for your position.’ One argument may be: ‘I’m taking on duties at a higher level,’ and describe your contributions. Once you have a script, your confidence will soar.”

Time it Just Right

The ideal time to ask for a raise is during reviews, right? Not so fast. “Budgets are often already set by then, and there may be no money set aside,” explains Ryan. “The best time is right after you’ve achieved something, such as updating how your office handles paperwork.” Also smart: Request a meeting between Tuesday and Thursday, avoiding crazy Mondays and wind-down Fridays.

Focus on the Future

“People who get raises are extremely resilient and ask regularly, every three to six months, until they succeed,” Helgesen says. “Just keep a positive attitude and ask your boss what you need to do in the future. Then keep the lines of communication open, letting her know you’re taking a training class she recommended, for example. Showing off your eagerness to contribute to the bigger picture underscores your value to the future of your company—and ensures your star is on the rise.”

Our expert panel

Sally Helgesen, author of How Women Rise ($15.37, Amazon), is a leadership coach. For 30 years, she’s helped women recognize and act on their strengths. Learn more at SallyHelgesen.com.

Dana Manciagli, career coach and author of Cut the Crap, Get a Job! ($15.30, Amazon), is president of Job Search Master Class for Veterans and Non-Veterans. For more information, go to DanaManciagli.com.

Robin Ryan, author of 60 Seconds & You’re Hired! ($10.20, Amazon), is a career counselor with expertise in résumé writing, interviewing and LinkedIn profiles. Visit her at RobinRyan.com.

This story originally appeared in our print magazine. 

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