Negotiating a raise

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Negotiating a raise means asking your boss for more money or better benefits.

Most people feel nervous when negotiating a raise. That is normal, but learning to negotiate can help you get over your fears.

In my career, I interviewed for many jobs, but I didn’t always go with negotiating a raise. It was not a common thing in my country and I did not feel comfortable asking. However, after resettling in the US, a good friend taught me a valuable lesson. She always told me to be prepared for salary negotiation when interviewing for a new position. Someone might ask how to be ready? Well, let me share here a few examples and tips from my experience.

Doing research

Salary negotiation not only includes money received, but also other benefits such as flexible work schedule, vacation time, and bonuses. The process of looking for a new job is similar to the process of looking for a new house or an apartment, and I want the best deal for myself. Before I interview for a job, I prepare myself by researching the company. I also ask friends that work for the company and research similar jobs online. In particular example, the interviewing manager asked me if I had a salary range and I was able to answer without hesitation. Always aim a little higher when giving a salary range.

Cost of living

My brother lives in Washington DC, and he makes $ 25,000 more than I do in PA. However, due to the higher cost of living in DC, our salaries are similar in value. Cost of living is the amount of money you need for basic things like housing, healthcare, and food. Before agreeing to a job offer in a different city, the cost of living must be taken into consideration. Here is a cost-of-living tool that can help in calculating the cost before any salary negotiation.

Negotiating a raise at the right time

A few years ago I asked my supervisor for a pay increase during my yearly review. She knew that I am a hard worker, but she wanted to hear from me why I should get a raise, and that’s what I prepared for before meeting with her. She took my answers and went to her supervisor to advocate on my behalf to get a salary increase. I knew that my performance for the year was very good, but I waited for the right moment to ask her for a pay increase.

The salary negotiation process with the current employer or future employer should be planned well before any talks about a possible increase in salary.  Keep in mind that the employer might not agree to the proposal. There might not be enough money in the budget to pay more for the position. Finally, money is not everything and getting paid less while working for a reputable company might have more benefits in the future.  

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