• Subha

Love Your Work But It Doesn’t Pay? Negotiate A Pay Raise

Updated: Aug 25


Does the next pay raise always seem to be on the distant horizon? Here’s the thing about getting paid- if the work-for-money agreement came along too easily, there’s a good chance that you might feel let down at some point. In the course of watercooler talk, you may hear about someone else in the same position getting paid a lot more. Or perhaps, you work years at a company with no sight of a raise on the horizon, but you don’t want to have ‘the talk’ because you love the place.


Pay Raise Ideas

The first step to good negotiation, especially when it involves a raise, is accepting that you really want it. No conversation about money can ever be fruitful if you approach it in two minds. Let’s discuss a few ways to negotiate a raise- ideas that are professional, polite and serve the purpose.

  1. Always Look Ahead: Most people negotiating a raise approach the counter with a past track record. While this isn’t all bad, it makes the manager ask the question, “Isn’t this what I’m paying you for?” Countering this with an explanation of how you are going above and beyond your duties may come across as a complaint and not sit well. Instead, talk about what you can do in the future. If there’s a new project the company is pitching for, mention how and where you can contribute. By putting the focus on the future, you are promising results, and there is a general air of positivity surrounding the conversation.

  2. Look Beyond The Money: Sometimes, companies may not be able to afford a raise per se, but you can always ask for ESOPs, more vacation time or the permission to leave early and freelance. If you so wish, you can also ask for a title raise and mention that you would be looking out for similar options elsewhere.

  3. Take Time Out: Don’t spring a salary negotiation meeting on your manager. Instead, ask for some time and schedule the meeting, so they know the context. Many people think that doing so just gives them an opportunity to counter the discussion, but in reality, notice just goes to show that you are willing to even the odds.

  4. Don’t Put Resignation On The Table: You love the job. You like being where you are. Threatening to quit can go in either direction and also leave a bad aftertaste in everyone’s mouth. If there are personal constraints that demand that you get paid more, explain the limitations and the conditions due to which you are having to look elsewhere.

  5. An Open Mind Is Key: The purpose of a negotiation is to arrive at a bargain. However, be prepared to hear a ‘no.’ In this context, we are assuming that your manager does not take a defensive stance- after all, loving a job is as much about loving the team. If your manager tells you that now is not a good time, he probably believes that that is the case. Depending on your current financial situation, you can decide what you’d like to do. Indeed, if you keep the communication channels open, you may even get a stellar recommendation for a new job.

What problems do you face most often when you negotiate for a raise? Tell us in the comments below.

Read more about Negotiation variables and a simple strategy for negotiation success.

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