Is It Time to Negotiate a Higher Salary?

Timely, strategic steps towards establishing and proving your worth

5. What should you offer? Oh, you thought you could ask for something without offering to give something? Not quite. Remember to give you additional income means that the bottom line for the business will receive less income. If you’ve been denied an increase in the past, maybe it’s because the numbers just didn’t make sense. But, if you go in ready to declare how to make this a win-win situation, you may actually have a shot.

If you feel the need to ask for a raise, the most positive way to approach this is to ask for extra work and responsibility, so that you can link this to a pay increase, if not immediately then in the future. This is an approach that employers respond to better than simply asking for more pay for doing the same job. Additionally, you might want to ask for a performance related bonus or increase subject to achieving more based on output greater than current or expected levels.

6. How and when should you ask? Ask for a face to face meeting rather than attempting to present your case in a letter or via e-mail. Either of these is just a one-way communication and doesn’t allow you to develop a mutual understanding of the situation and what to do about it. It can also be received as a demand no matter how politely you feel you worded it. After all, written content is always left up to the perception of the reader – not necessarily the intent of the writer.

If you have a review coming up then you can wait until then, but if not, simply ask your boss for a review meeting to discuss a personal matter. Ask about what opportunities for advancement may be coming up and what steps you can take to work towards that. Ask what level of flexibility exists and what the rationale is for setting and increasing pay levels. Who does your boss have to make a case to? Will he/she support you? What would improve your case? What commitments would the company want from you?

Approach the process positively and constructively and remember that it’s a discussion, not a demand. If you are unhappy about your salary, and you feel underpaid or undervalued, you will do your reputation and future a lot of good by approaching the matter in a professional, well-prepared and objective way.

Patrice C. Washington is the Wisdom & Wealth Money Maven at and author of the series, Real Money Answers. Follow her on Twitter at @SeekWisdomPCW for practical tips on wisdom, wealth & business. If you or someone you love is a professional woman that feels overwhelmed, overworked, underpaid, undervalued or unfulfilled, PLEASE visit for info on private coaching and compelling client testimonials.

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