Are You Ready to Negotiate a Higher Salary?

 In Earn More Money

If you’ve already cut down weekly beauty regimens and Friday nights out on the town or totally cut off the luxury of cable television and still don’t feel a little relief, then the problem may not be your “outgo,” but your income.

The recipe for financial success is the highest income you can achieve coupled with the lowest expenses you can maintain for your personal standard or quality of life.  For some reason, people always assume that means that they have to stretch the few hours they do have after a day job, children and church to create a side hustle. Although I love and indulge in the “hustle while you work” mentality, that’s not always the case.  Some can truly create additional income on the same job by negotiating a higher salary.

Disclaimer: If you are on your 2nd warning for coming into the office late, submitting incomplete work or anything that you know in your soul is workplace suicide and you’re still there merely by God’s grace, this information will not help you.  But, if you’ve been on your game, ask yourself these questions in order to prepare for your salary negotiation . . . .

1. Why now? In order to create a good game plan, you have to understand the “why” behind what you are doing or your efforts will be scattered and emotional.  Ask yourself plenty of questions to get to the root of why you want, need or deserve a raise or promotion.  The fact that you’re behind on bills could be a motivation, but that won’t be enough to sway your superiors.  Is there a position coming available that you truly qualify for? Are you hoping that you can have a position created around any extra duties you are already performing?  As you continue, the other steps will also help generate your “why?”

2. Why are you valuable?  No team wants to lose their most valuable player and similarly no company wants to lose their most talented employee.  Be crystal clear about what qualities you bring to the table and learn how to articulate them efficiently.  You don’t want to appear bratty or overly cocky, but you do want to make sure that you’re not ashamed to toot your own horn when and where appropriate. Always keep a running list of your professional accomplishments and remember that nothing is too small. Know current statistics on your work. Quantify your successes by cost savings, increased productivity and overall contribution to the company. Never just say you hit your annual goals back in September. Make sure everyone knows that to date, you are at 125% of your goal and still counting. Now that’s value when others are struggling to hit 70 percent!  It’s also a lot more professional than, “I do more work than so and so.”

3. Where’s your research? You have to know as much as you can about the pay scale of the company, as well as of the industry. Check out sites like or which have collected salary and career data from millions of people across thousands of industries to give you accurate salary averages narrowed down to your metropolitan area. If you are maxed out for your title, then the reality is that it may be time to go after another position.  If you haven’t hit the ceiling, then you’re stockpiling serious ammunition!

If you are unhappy about your salary, and you feel underpaid or undervalued, you will do your reputation and future a lot of good by approaching the matter in a professional, well-prepared and objective way.

That’s our Q to your A! Tell us what  you think in the comments below.
Do you think it’s time you get a raise? Will these questions help you create your plan to promote?
What’s the scariest part of having to ask for more money?


Patrice C. Washington
America’s Money Maven, Patrice C. Washington is author of the best-selling personal finance series, Real Money Answers, as well as creator of the Earn More Money Movement for Women. Each week millions listen to her wisdom during her weekly money segment on the nationally syndicated, Steve Harvey Morning Show.
  • M A MBA

    Thank you so much for this! This confirms that I’m not completely crazy for wanting to negotiate a raise. I played with the idea for a few weeks before I got up the courage (a research) to do so back in February. Still no answer. My question now is, how long do I wait before I bring it up again or make other plans? I’ve already followed up once since the initial ask.

  • Nicole Garris

    well, I just started my job in Nov of 2017 and when I got hired I asked for a higher wage and the manager stated he was trying to get it increased for the position but it was hard to do.

    So should I still ask again for a raise. He notice my work ethic so it shouldn’t be a problem.

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