Negotiating a Higher Salary

Rule number one of negotiating a higher salary: If you don’t ask, you will not receive. Of course, the opposite of that is not always true, especially in the current economy. Your employer has most likely been forced to make cutbacks, and you are feeling the direct effects of that. Your workload has probably increased significantly, and you might assume that a raise isn’t possible right now. But if you hit the right areas when you ask, you might have a good shot.

The Right Time to Negotiate

First, do take a good look at your company’s situation. If the cutbacks they’re making involve significant salary cuts and extremely tight restrictions on company spending, you may want to hold off. Timing is important when negotiating a higher salary. If your company is still struggling despite cutbacks and you ask for a raise, you could appear selfish and insensitive not only in regards to the company but also your fellow employees. They’re all in the same boat, and unfortunately, the fact that it’s getting tougher to pay your bills isn’t a good enough reason to justify a raise for most employers.

Point Out Your Accomplishments

However, if the company seems to be hanging on just fine, and you have the right evidence to support your case, go for it. You may be handling your increased workload so well that your manager may unintentionally not notice all of your accomplishments–he or she may just be content knowing that there aren’t any gaping problems. Use that to your advantage. Approach your manager with proof of things that you’ve done that have had a positive effect on the company, no matter how big or small.

Research Salary Possibilities

Do some research on the average salary for your position, too. Your manager likely already knows, but especially once you’ve shown how valuable you are to the company, he or she may be more inclined to set your salary at or close to the average. Knowing this will also prevent you from asking for a salary that might appear unreasonable. If you did start too high (even without knowing it), depending on your manager’s disposition, you may be denied a raise entirely due to your seemingly brash request.

Your other option is to ask for a review in 3-6 months if a raise isn’t possible now. You’ll know your manager will be paying close attention to you, so you’ll have a great opportunity to show off what you can do. Remember it’s all about timing, and once you find the right time, don’t wait for your manager to offer. Go ahead and ask!

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