How do you negotiate a raise in this market?

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I have exciting news for anyone out there who is currently in the market for a new position. The market has flipped. That is right! For the first time in over eight years, the market has flipped from an “EMPLOYER” market to an “EMPLOYEE” market. So what does this mean for job seekers?

It is time to start thinking about negotiating that raise or promotion that you have been wanting. Between 2008-2015 most employees were clinging to jobs that they did not like and/or salaries that barely paid the bills. At of the end of 2015, things began to change. Suddenly, there were more jobs available than people who could fill them. This means that job seekers and employees have more negotiating power than they have had in years.

Though it is a good time to consider making a move and/or to negotiate a raise in your current role, you still have to bring conscientiousness to how you approach asking for the raise you want.

The three things that could kill your chances of negotiating the raise that you want are:

  1. Saying you “need” a raise because of personal reasons such as bills piling up.
  2. Playing hard ball and demanding a raise “or else” you will leave the company.
  3. Saying that it is “unfair” because so and so got a raise.


Anyone of the above mentioned tactics will only hurt your chances of negotiating the raise or promotion you desire. Rather than approaching getting a raise from an adversarial standpoint, you may want to consider taking a more gracious and proactive approach. One proactive method that I have found to be very impactful when negotating a raise or a promotion is approaching the negotiation like an attorney. What do I mean?

I mean that you could look at getting a raise like you are an attorney who is making a case for why his or her client should win. Except, you are actually making a case for why you are adding value to the company and will continue to do so.

How do you you make a case for where you add value?


Come up with evidence and examples of where you have increased “PEP” (productivity, efficiency and/or performance) within the organization. If you approach your manager from a perspective of gratitude and contribution, you will often get a more positive response.

Here are a few steps you can take to negotiate your next raise or promotion:

  1. Set up a good “ASK.” In other words, do not burst into your boss’s office demanding a raise. Rather, ask your boss (either in person or via email) when a good time to talk might be and request a specific amount of time to speak with him or her. The average amount of time this will take is about 15-30 minutes.
  2. Once you have scheduled a good time to speak with your boss, set aside at least thirty minutes to one hour to put together your case for why a raise is warranted.
  3. Review your accomplishments over the past year, three years or five years and come prepared to the meeting with 5-10 examples of your PEP (where you have increased productivity, efficiency and/or performance).
  4. During the conversation with your boss, begin by thanking them and telling them that you are happy that they were willing to meet with you. Start the conversation with what it is that you like or appreciate about working with your boss or the company.
  5. Highlight your specific results and accomplishments, including any occassions where you earned and/or save the company money (your PEP).
  6. Close your case by reiterrating your gratitude for your current role and your desire to continue to grow with and contribute to the organization.

If you use these six steps you will be well on your way to receiving the raise or promotion that you desire.

For a more in depth look at how to negotiate a raise or promotion, check out my Podcast with Sharon O’Donnell on LA Talk Radio:

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