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Art of Negotiating a Pay Raise

Abhijeet Ganguly is a certified Human Resource professional from HRCI. He has around 9 years of experience in all gamut of HR domain.

Every one of us wants more money than what we are currently making and simultaneously our goal is to stay in the current job. In order to increase current income without changing our present employer, then the solution in that case will be to have pay raise. However when asking for a pay raise preparation, timing, employer's pay practices, and the market-based pay rates of the current job are key when you ask for a pay raise

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Below are some of the steps in asking for a pay raise:

1) Research is the key

Before initiating a discussion regarding pay raise, you need to familiarize yourself with your current employer's pay practices. If the standard practice of your employer is to offer salary increase once a year after an annual performance appraisal, then it is improbable to receive a raise at any other time.

If your employer offers regular increases, then you'll have more chance for a pay raise. Moreover, if the employer announces that the pay raises will only be four percent all over, then you are improbable to negotiate more money.

You need to go through the employee handbook wherein the process whereby pay raises are granted is given. If a policy exists, then follow the process exactly.

You need to research the median salary for your job across the market and that can easily be done with the help of online projections of salary calculators. Now, if you are already been paid above your market pay rate, then negotiating a pay raise won’t be easy. There are other ways as well like networking with other employees in similar jobs in similar industries to determine your salary competitiveness. Always remember one thing that, professional associations help in conducting mutual salary surveys and provide networking opportunities within similar jobs.

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2) Preparation for a Pay Raise Meeting

Once you get an idea about how competitive your salary is in the industry. Next step is to request for a pay raise to your boss and for that prepare a list of goals accomplished for the company and summarize how their accomplishment has helped the company by documenting cost savings, productivity improvement, a list of any additional responsibilities that you have added to your job and ways in which you have contributed more than your job required. These should be the grounds for an increase when you ask for a pay raise. After documenting, try setting up a pay increase goal, in your mind, that should appear as a reward to your contributions and additional responsibilities that you have handled.

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Try setting up a meeting with your immediate superior to discuss your compensation. However, give your boss a glimpse of the subject matter of the meeting you schedule. Make sure not to ambush your supervisor in the midst. If your supervisor is not prepared to discuss about an increase, he will scrap the meeting. Your boss will also want to explore the possibilities of a pay raise with the Human Resources dept and investigate your research through his own industry sources. If you fail to justify a higher salary at the moment then it's always good to ask your boss about how to qualify for the highest possible pay raise and bonus in the future. A successful negotiation for a pay raise should always be based on your merit and accomplishments rather than based on the fact why you need additional money. Even though your employer cares about you, however funding additional cash for your chosen lifestyle is certainly not their responsibility.

If you are using a competitive job offer or threatening to quit, in order to negotiate a pay raise with your current employer, then one thing should be kept in mind, that employer hates to be held hostage. Hence such things are counterproductive, unprofessional and can backfire. After this, any training or growth opportunities may cease to come your way or the employer can accept your resignation. Hence, quietly and professionally get on with your job search, if you have determined a pay raise merit changing employers.

Asking for a pay raise, when you have planned and prepared, can still be somewhat scary however without planning and preparation it is a crap shoot. Your boss will never going to have a pay raise conversation with you again willingly unless something changes at work.

Hence, a successful negotiation helps in building your confidence and increase the possibility to achieve your maximum income potential in your chosen field.

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This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2010 Abhijeet Ganguly


Nisha Bannerjee on September 14, 2010:

Good Work done!!! I am a student of HR and i am following you now. Write good stuff to keep me engaged.

Sunil Kumar on September 13, 2010:

Well researched and nicely written article....given an extensive insight about background checks..keep up the good work....

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