Negotiating a Pay Raise

Few employees are paid what they think they are worth, and the only thing to do if you want more money is to negotiate a pay raise. Not everyone feels comfortable asking for a raise, however. In fact, research has shown that women are less likely to ask for a raise than men, which contributes to pay inequality.

Before knocking on your boss’ door, remember these tips for effectively negotiating a bump up in pay.

Come up with a Number, or at least a Salary Range

Negotiation will be more effective if you have a target number. If you have no idea what you want, then it will be very easy for your boss to mollify you with a token raise.

Instead, do some research to find out comparable salaries in your area. Take a look at your job duties and find comparable jobs. Also remember to factor in your experience. You can find salary information at different websites, such as

Once you have reviewed salaries, come up with a salary range. The top number should be your goal and the bottom number should be the least you are willing to accept. If you can’t get the minimum, then it might be time to look for a job.

Draft a List of Accomplishments

You need to give your boss some reason to give you a bump up in pay. In particular, look for ways you have helped the company make more money or save money. You will need concrete examples to remind your boss of your contributions.

It’s important to pick out 2 or 3 major contributions. You don’t want to bore your boss with a laundry list of minor achievements, which he or she probably does not have time to listen to.

Also pull together some commendations you might have received from important clients or vendors. For example, you can print out an email in which a client praises you.

Approach Your Boss at the Right Time

An ideal time might be your annual performance review, but what should you do if that doesn’t roll around for another six months?

In that case, the Harvard Business Review recommends that you approach your boss after you have finished a big project or after you have volunteered for more responsibility. These actions should be fresh in your boss’ memory as he or she ponders your request.

Avoid Threatening to Leave

You need to negotiate a raise ethically, so avoid anything that reeks of coercion. Telling your boss you intend to leave during the busy season unless your demands are met makes you look unprofessional. However, if you have received offers from other firms, you can certainly mention that fact.

Be Professional

Remind your boss that you love working for the company and hope to stay. If you are nervous about negotiating a raise, you might come across as too aggressive. Make your case and tell your boss how much you would like for a raise. Don’t expect an immediate response.

Also avoid comparing yourself to a coworker, which makes you look unprofessional. Instead, talk up your accomplishments and let your boss draw the comparison herself.

Speak with a New Jersey Wage Discrimination Lawyer if Your Boss Doesn’t Follow Through

It’s one thing to promise you more money. But what happens if a promised raise never shows up in your paycheck?

At this point, you might need to consider your legal options. At the Sattiraju & Tharney, LLP, we are one of the top firms in New York and New Jersey for employment law issues. Contact us today by calling 609-722-7023.