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How Do I Negotiate A Raise With My Boss?




Did you know that in 2020 women were only paid 79 cents on the dollar compared to white non-Hispanic males? Black women make about 64 cents on the dollar, Latina women make 54 cents, and Asian women make 90 cents on a dollar. However, for equal work, there should be equal pay; it's just fair.


"Never hesitate to ask your boss for a raise or promotion that you know you deserve because you are afraid it might hurt your relationship with them."

You need to know your value and negotiate for what you are worth. There is a right way to ask for a raise or promotion without having to ruffle feathers.

What To Avoid When Asking For A Raise Or Promotion

What you don’t want to do is send an email that says:

  • “Hey, I want my raise“ or "where is my money because I know there is an increase in the budget, so I should be getting my cut of that."

  • “I have student loans bills, my rent is increasing, and I need more money to pay the rent."

  • "Hey, I want to you about more money."

You really can’t say things like that; you have to lead with what the business stands to gain in the process while considering the best business case; because that is what people respond well to.




What Do To, Is To Schedule A Conversation

If you have a face to face conversation, establish rapport first, there is a good chance that you might be nervous, and you might want to get in and get it over with; you don't want to rush into it either. Instead, you can say something like;

  • “Hey, I would like to schedule a meeting to talk about my performance and my goals moving forward."

  • “Hi, how are you today? How are things going for you? And give them a chance to respond.

You can build a rapport by exchanging pleasantries. In addition to that, you want to engage in small talk; most people consider small talk useless, pointless, and have no place in business, but on the contrary, small talk is one of the strongest tools you can use to get people to do what you want.

“Think of the everyday conversations you have with your supervisor and practice it before going in to negotiate.”

When they respond to your pleasantries, you can now move on to say, "Hey, I'm excited, and I'm looking to discuss something important with you, but I'd love to get your feedback on it." Make your conversation a participatory one where you’re both on the same side and want to be on the same team.



What If You Work Remotely? ( We’re all remote workers these days)

For individuals who work remotely and probably haven't seen your supervisor before, you can send an email that says, "Hey, can we have a phone call to discuss." Phone calls are especially important in this kind of scenario to avoid misunderstanding and for everyone to express themselves well. Here are some of the things you might want to consider adding when sending the email.

  • "Hey, I would like to talk to you about my performance and the value that I am adding to the organization."

  • "When will be the time to talk about this? I'd love to do it over Skype, Zoom, or let's talk when you're in town."

Make sure you review everything you have done over the past year (i.e., the number of projects you've worked on) and present it—don't lecture them, have a conversation. If you haven’t been tracking your work progress, you should do it now. Make it info-graphic and presentable enough by using tools like spreadsheets. Try to anticipate all the red lines they might be hitting and figure out a segue to return to your original point. Identify at least two scenarios in the company where you are killing it and make good use of it.

Once you present your value in terms of how you're adding to the organization, your supervisor is more likely to consider it. It takes time to plan a negotiation, and you can't skip the preparation step. You should know that people who are best prepared are the ones that get more of what they want.



Your Final Pitch:

  • “Based on the value that I am adding to the organization and business area, I was wondering if I could move into a role [XYZ] title? Is doesn't make sense for me to have this title based on the work I am doing and the value I am adding to this organization.”

(This is if you want a promotion or a title change).

Pause after making this statement, be confident, maintain eye contact, and body language. If you're a talker, you might want to start counting in your head, and in three to four seconds, they will jump in to fill the awkward gap by saying something.

Anticipate that they might say NO, and do well not to throw a tantrum, or papers, or your dignity. The best way to respond is by saying, "OK, what will it take for me to get this promotion or title change?”


Once you ask this, pause again and let them answer. It is appropriate that they say they would need to speak with somebody else, so you must give them all they need to build a strong case for you. Make sure you do this at least a month before your performance review.

If they say YES, take a second, pause, and be professionally excited. Say thank you and ask what the next step is.


Remember, the work you put into preparing and tracking the value you bring to the business is critical to your success in negotiating your raise. Be confident in knowing that you are deserving but be open to learning how you can improve. Your raise is something that when you achieve, it will be a feeling well deserved.


©2020  by Jacqueline V. Twillie.