The Office
Raise: Part Two 10 November 2008 | by Annemarie Cross
Part two of our feature on asking your boss for a raise. Get some tips on preparation, timing and communication from our careers specialist Annemarie Cross.
Preparation is key.

Grooming is just as important as if you were attending an interview with a new company so make sure your appearance is neat, tidy and respectable when you attend your meeting with your boss.
Bring in the supporting documentation that showcases your accomplishments, which should be a summary of all of the achievements and contributions as suggested in part one.
Decide what you are going to do if your request is turned down. Perhaps the company is undergoing restructuring/hardship that won’t allow them to give you a raise in the immediate future. Negotiating for your boss to reconsider your request within a 3 month period (depending on your performance) may be an option.
Spending more time with your family may be important to you, so negotiating flexibility in your working hours may be something else to consider.
Think about other essentials that you would consider as part of your salary package, and bring forward your requests for further discussion with your boss. Your boss may be able to accommodate your request, or propose an alternative compromise.
Timing is crucial.
Choosing the right time to approach your boss is just as important as the preparation you have put into your presentation.
Consider the following:
  • You may want to consider positioning your case during staff performance reviews, particularly if you have had an impressive year.
  • Perhaps you have had extraordinary success that is being hailed throughout the organisation so you want to strike while the iron is hot.
  • Your duties may have been increased and you therefore have added responsibility which would warrant an increase in salary.
  • Your organisation may have had a huge windfall in revenue and projects to which you have contributed.
  • Research what is happening in the industry and within the company to see whether any factors would strengthen your position. Is the company reflecting steady profits that could support your increase in salary? Is the market flourishing as a whole indicating that you would expect a higher salary if looking elsewhere? Your company may not want to risk the chance of losing you to one of their competitors.
  • Assess your boss’ mood and demeanour and choose the time of day carefully. The end of the day would be better as the pressures of the day are over.  
Know your boss.
It is essential to understand and match your boss’ disposition and demeanour so that your request is taken seriously.  
If your boss is a results-driven, to the point, quick decision-maker, you need to state your case quickly and present strong reasons to support your request. Avoid long pauses in your conversation as this will only serve to annoy him/her.  
If your boss tends to enjoy interaction with others and is slower in his/her decision-making and action-taking then you will want to speak slower and present your case more comprehensively.
Remember, mirroring, matching and pacing your boss’ mannerisms and personal style is crucial for building and maintaining rapport throughout the conversation so that your request is considered seriously.
Successful negotiation skills.
Don’t threaten to hand in your resignation (even if that is what you are considering) should your request be denied. Have a few other options that you can present should your boss be unable to agree to an increase in money at the present time.
Don’t compare your salary to others in the organisation. They may be receiving more than you for a reason.
Remain confident, but avoid being arrogant. This approach may only serve to put your boss on the defensive.
Ensure your suggested salary figure is reasonable and within market expectations. Remember that you don’t want to negotiate yourself out of a job because you have requested an amount that is higher than market expectations and that the company cannot afford.
Don’t provide reasons why you need the money – this is irrelevant.
Be realistic in your request. Be flexible. Perhaps you could negotiate other things rather than just money. If a monetary increase is denied you have other options to negotiate such as flexi time, bonuses on performance or company shares.
Good luck!  
Annemarie Cross is a Career & EQ Leadership Coach and Personal Branding Strategist with Advanced Employment Concepts. Annemarie can be contacted on: and  
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