How To Negotiate A Salary Increase


Many of us don’t know where to start when it comes to understanding how to negotiate a salary increase. Earning a good salary is fundamental to someone’s value and how they feel about their job. 

The more we earn, the more successful we feel. We feel freer by taking care of our family and our needs, chasing our dreams, and giving ourselves security for the long term.

At times, all of us might find ourselves questioning whether our pay matches the value we bring to our jobs.  

Suppose you stay in the same job or work for the same employer for a prolonged period and want to receive a significant increase (above inflation) in what you earn. Then it’s likely at some point that you’re going to need to ask for an increase.

Talking about money with your Manager can be difficult, so difficult, it discourages many from asking at all.

A Glassdoor survey showed that only 17% of employees negotiated their salary in 2019.

While this is an increase from 10% in 2016 (job seekers expect salary negotiation transparency). It’s still a notably small number (find the study here in more detail).

A similar study by revealed that 37% of people surveyed always negotiate their salaries, and 18% never would.

We all know the old saying, “If you don’t ask, you don’t get.”

So, why do some people feel comfortable and others don’t even know how to negotiate a salary increase? 

There is nothing wrong with asking for a raise that reflects the effort you put into your job.

Confidence in your abilities and performance will be more successful than applying any learned “technique” to get what you want.

That said, there are better ways of broaching the topic; staying positive and positioning your needs as part of an opportunity to help your employer’s business meet its goals.  

Know Your Market And Do Your Research

Do you know what the current market rate is for your position?


There is no point in going to speak to your boss with a number derived from gut instinct. Understanding the market is key to knowing how to negotiate a salary increase.


It is a business (not personal) discussion, so you need to understand and compare what the market is paying. That means an understanding of what’s being paid by similar-sized businesses in similar markets and for your skillset.


Providing real-world examples will provide your Manager with the ability to justify an increase to the person (or group) holding the purse strings.


Do your best to evaluate total packages and not just salary. Investigate overall company benefits that offer health and other insurances, extra leave, commissions, etc.


You can start by talking to recruiters who specialize in recruiting your role and in your area. They should be able to give you a salary range as well as inform you about company packages.


Additionally, look at job boards for any roles that might advertise salaries for your job and level. If the salary is not advertised, call up the advertisement’s contact. Enquire about the role and ask what salary and package they are offering.


You can also network with other employees in similar jobs, positions, and industries to understand your role’s salary market.


Be careful with using online salary calculators such as or While they can be informative, they don’t consider discrepancies found within smaller markets and smaller organizations.


Once you’ve done your research, you should have a relatively good idea of the salary range and package for someone at your level. 

Understand Your Value

Understanding the value that you bring to your current
organization is important evidence when creating a business case for an


What experience and technical and soft skills do you bring to the role and the company?


What feedback are you getting from customers? Do you have letters of recommendation or customer satisfaction reports where you’ve solved problems or made improvements? 


Have you documented tangible results that you have achieved during your time in the role? Include documentation of where you have set goals and reached them.


While successful delivery is an essential factor in achieving the desired outcome. You should also make sure to reference how you contribute to the working environment. How are you contributing to the vision of the company? Not just through numbers but also values and culture.

It will also help you to identify any potential areas where you can improve. By doing this, you will be ready to defuse any potential conversations that come up around weaknesses or improvement areas. Be prepared with suggestions on how you are addressing them or what you will do to manage them. 

Your purpose is to identify the value that you bring to the organization and give yourself confidence.

Bring The Discussion Up Ahead Of TIme

It’s time to have an open and honest conversation with your Manager.

As Tony Robbins points out, you can pre-frame the conversation to shape someone’s thought process about a topic before you address it.


It’s essential to show you are invested in the company. If you enjoy working for your Manager and the company, then make that central to the discussion.


Speak of the successes you’ve had and how much they mean to you.


Your goal is to advance not just your salary and package but your career as well. Ask for feedback on how you can improve in your current role and what you can do better.


Let them know you want to grow and help the business grow as well.


Ask your Manager what you need to achieve to secure specific financial outcomes. If you’re looking for a $10k increase, then work out a plan with your Manager to know what you need to do to achieve it. This will also enable your Manager to budget for it.


Ensure the plan (performance review) has clearly defined goals with regular check in’s with your Manager to track your progress. Going all out for your goals/ targets, your Manager will become your biggest supporter and advocate to help you reach them and land that pay ris

What If They Say No?

In the same way, you’ve prepared for a dispassionate business discussion about an increase. You need to prepare yourself to maintain a professional outlook and not be disheartened if the answer is initially no.

A no isn’t always the end of the story and might be a starting point for further negotiation.  

You can politely ask for a clear explanation for the reason they declined your request.

There might be a legitimate reason (outside of your frame of reference) as to why the business cannot accommodate an increase at that specific time. (It’s also good to keep in mind that the decision to say no may not have been made by your Manager directly).

If it’s merely an issue of timing, then don’t let it impact your efforts and seek to agree on a specific timeframe to revisit the discussion.

If a raise isn’t available immediately, ask whether other benefits (such as professional development or additional leave) can be substituted.

The right question is, “What would it take for me to earn a raise in the future?”

If your Manager is unwilling or unable to tell you, that may indicate broader issues ahead.

If they explain, you will know how to step up your game for the next time. Plus, you’ve had an opportunity to help grow your negotiation skills.

Word Of Caution

Using a job offer from another employer to negotiate a salary increase with your current employer is a wrong move on almost all fronts.

Even if your employer doesn’t have a “no counteroffer” policy, you should want to get a salary increase because of your business value. Not because you’ve held your current employer to ransom.

Trust is an integral part of all workplace relationships. Suppose your employer knows that you were serious enough about leaving to go through an interview process with another company. In that case, it may mean that they hold back on career development, training, and any other opportunities to progress you in the future.

Additionally, you’ll likely have burnt your bridges with a prospective recruiter or employer next time you want to find a new role. Maintaining a reputation of professionalism is a perfect idea in a competitive job market. The emphasis of your negotiation should always be on the value of your contribution.


Success is not just about asking for a salary increase and getting it. It’s about effectively aligning your purpose by delivering more value to the business and helping them grow. 

If you’ve done the hard work already (if you’re asking for a raise, this is essential), then make it an easy decision for your Manager to say yes by providing the supporting information to make your case.

If your request is declined, make sure you get a clear explanation as to why. Take it on the chin and ask what it will take to get one in the future.

Continually step up every day by working hard and showing them why you deserve a raise. Consequently, the salary increase might arrive sooner than you think.

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Let me know below your thoughts: How have you managed to negotiate a salary increase? If so, how did it go?

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