How to Negotiate Salary

How to Negotiate a Raise

Try setting up a meeting outside of an office.
Try setting up a meeting outside of an office.
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The rules and tips on the last page for negotiating a staring salary generally apply for negotiating a raise in salary. For instance, it's still important to not accept the first offer. And you should still feel confident to ask for more, even if a raise isn't offered during an annual performance review. You should also still do research, especially if you didn't think to do research last time you negotiated salary. But even if you did research before, market conditions might have changed since the last time. And, of course, you can negotiate other forms of compensation.

But there's a different dynamic now. For one, you've established a working relationship with your boss, which, depending on the nature of the relationship, could make the subject of salary more uncomfortable than the last time.

Considering your relationship with your boss, negotiation expert Michael C. Donaldson recommends changing the usual playing field. In other words, don't have the raise conversation in the same positions that you accept assignments and direction for your boss. For instance, if your boss usually gives direction from behind his desk to you in a chair, try to equalize the positions where you're both sitting on couches [source: Donaldson]. If this isn't possible, try moving your seat to a new position -- preferably to the side of the boss's desk. Donaldson also suggests standing for the first few minutes of the conversation to assert confidence.

Another major difference between the starting salary negotiation and the raise negotiation is that, after working at a company, you've also had opportunities to show what you can do. You've probably racked up some accomplishments to give you leverage in your negotiation. Make a list of your successes and accomplishments during your time there. If you've gotten any notable praise from superiors, include that as well. Present these to your boss to show how valuable you are as an employee.

The usual time for raise negotiations is the annual performance review. However, experts say you don't necessarily have to wait. If you do decide to ask earlier, ask after you've accomplished something. And give your boss a fair heads-up: Ask to schedule a short meeting with your boss to discuss your salary. And afterward, give the boss time to think about it or confer with his superiors.