Maximize Your Income by Negotiating a Raise in Salary

November 14, 2019

A large part of maximizing your income is knowing what you’re worth. Asking your employer for a salary that reflects this figure isn’t always easy considering money discussions can be uncomfortable in some settings.

Regardless, you deserve to be paid for your hard work at a rate that reflects your skillset and work ethic. We’ve compiled some considerations to keep in mind so you can be prepared to ask for a salary raise.

Begin by assessing your skillset

Whether you’re interviewing, searching for a job, or have spent several years in a position, your employer will want to know what comprises your skillset. Your skills can be categorized into hard and soft skills. Generally, soft skills are the services and abilities you have concerning interpersonal relationships and communications. Hard skills are more quantifiable and/or technical—these are skills you might have acquired in a college course like language, degrees, or trade/job-specific skills.

Negotiating a raise in salary can begin in several different ways. If you’re unsure of how to get started, begin by compiling a list of your soft and hard skills. Do so with your job description in mind. Take note of what the job description asked for, which skills you had when you began, and what skills you have acquired and fine-tuned since then.

Adding soft and hard skills to your wheelhouse helps make what you do for your company go above and beyond what they’re asking for, thereby being more eligible to discuss a salary raise. If you’ve compiled your list and found you haven’t quite amassed enough skills to discuss a raise based on your skillset, you can make a roadmap for skills you’d like to acquire so you’ll be more comfortable asking for raise.

Types of salary raises

Raises don’t necessarily have to coincide with a specific time or skill set change. In fact, there are multiple types of raises.

  • Cost-of-living raiseHowStuffWorks describes a cost-of-living raise as “an increase in pay that’s intended to keep the buying power of an employee’s salary the same during a period of inflation”. This might also be something to keep in mind if you are working a job that is asking you to move cities. Compare your current cost of living to the figure of the city you’re going to next.
  • Skill increase – If while assessing your skill set you’ve found you’ve amassed more skills than your job’s description, take note and conduct research to find out the compensation for someone in a comparable position with similar experience.
  • Position/Title change – Most raises tend to coincide with title changes and promotions. When being put in position for a new title, be sure to speak with your manager or employer about whether this position will affect your compensation.
  • Market change – Just like most things in the market, your position is likely to go in and out of demand and this will affect your salary. Keep aware of your market value. Is your skillset in high demand? Where are you most valued? Could you use this information to speak with your employer?

Arrive prepared for your meeting

Once you’ve done all the leg work upfront to know your value, decide how much of a raise you’d like to ask for. Business Insider suggests a 10%-20% raise is an appropriate asking range. However, each case is unique so it’s important to decide your figure based on your research.

When you’re ready, make a meeting with your employer and discuss your research. Knowing how to negotiate a raise in salary is difficult but your employer shouldn’t be unfamiliar with this and might even expect you to discuss these matters.

Conversations about money don’t necessarily need to be uncomfortable. By being prepared, you can help cut the awkwardness and take more control of your income.

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