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How to Negotiate a Raise During a Promotion

It seems like it would be easy to negotiate a raise during a promotion, but that’s not always the case.
how to negotiate a raise during a promotion
Floriane Vita/Unsplash

You know that it’s more expensive for your employer to recruit, hire and train a new employee than to give you the raise. But they know how much you’re making right now, and that can be more valuable information at the negotiating table.

Plus, if you’ve pursued the promotion, they might assume that you’re motivated enough to accept a little bit less than they might offer someone from outside the company. It’s not fair, but in negotiations, it’s not about what you deserve — it’s about what you can get.

In negotiations, it’s not about what you deserve — it's about what you can get.Click To Tweet

To increase your chances of getting the pay raise you want, take the following steps:

1. Know Your Worth

First things first: you should never enter into any salary negotiation without knowing how much your experience and skills are worth on the job market. Take the PayScale Salary Survey, and get a free salary report with an appropriate range for the position, industry and geographic location.

Don’t let yourself get tied to your current salary without a fight. You need to know how much your employer would have to pay to hire someone from outside the company before you can make your case for a bigger raise than their first offer. Then, you can emphasize your accomplishments and value during the negotiation.

2. Get Inside Information

How does your company structure pay? If they have pay grades, for example, you’ll want to know where the new job falls in the compensation structure. Depending where your organization falls on the pay transparency spectrum, you may be able to gather a fair amount of information about how salary is determined before you sit down with your manager.

3. Negotiate Based on Data, Not Emotion

Now is not the time to talk about your rent increase or your student loan payments or your growing family. Those are all important concerns, of course, but they’re not persuasive to the folks who manage budgets. Instead, come to the table armed with data, and make your case based on the value you provide to the organization.

4. Come With a Backup Plan

Of course, you’d prefer to walk away from your negotiation with more cash. But failing that, sometimes you can negotiate benefits that boost your bottom line, without cutting into your manager’s budget. A flexible schedule or some extra perks could help you keep more of the money you earn, and make your life more pleasant.

When all else fails, ask for an earlier review. If you can bump up your next opportunity to get a raise, you can move up the pay ladder more quickly.

5. Say Thank You (Even If You Don’t Mean It).

“I once got a really nice raise for somebody and their only response was, ‘Gosh, thanks. But I thought it would be more,’” writes Stanley Bing at CBS News. “That was the last time I ever went out on a limb for that person.”

So, be sure to thank your manager, even if you’re grumbling internally.

The good news is that even if this negotiation didn’t turn out the way you’d hoped, you’re making progress. You now have an idea of your value on the job market and experience negotiating — both of which will come in handy, should you decide to take your talents elsewhere.

Do You Know What You're Worth?

Tell Us What You Think

Have you successfully negotiated a raise during a promotion? We want to hear from you. Tell us your story in the comments or join the conversation on Twitter.

Jen Hubley Luckwaldt
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