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Want a salary raise? These tips might help you

Knowing your strengths, doing research, and building a network are essential to securing a raise

[Source photo: Anvita Gupta/Fast Company Middle East]

Negotiating a salary raise might seem daunting, but it’s far from impossible. In fact, with the right strategies and a healthy dose of self-belief, you can secure that desired salary increase. 

Your contributions hold value, regardless of the economic climate, so here are some strategies to ensure that your employer recognizes and acknowledges the same.

Career Growth Strategist and Recruitment Partner Fatima Williams shares some tips. 


Knowing your strengths and understanding your company’s goals for you is one of the best ways to plan for a salary hike, says Williams. “The goal of your negotiation is to ensure that you and the other party leave the conversation smiling. You’ll need to carefully structure your negotiation plan.”

Knowing where you stand within the company will also help you set realistic expectations within their range and highlight how you have been an asset to the organization to help them achieve those goals.

Building your network is also imperative to expanding your knowledge regarding the expected salaries within your field. “When you stay connected with a network of people in similar roles & skillsets in other organizations. It will give you the most realistic way to identify the ideal salary hike to ask for your current role in the job market apart from job boards or glass doors!”

Research is also key. Williams also recommends using salary websites and looking through salary trend reports as other ways of staying aware of the job market and knowing your value.

Professional Certified Coach, PCC, Kamran Tork, says it is also imperative for employees to familiarize themselves with their manager’s preferred communication style, whether they lean towards a numerical, detail-oriented approach or a broader, big-picture perspective.

Consider how your achievements align with your manager’s objectives and the company’s overarching goals. The manager must perceive your accomplishments as contributing to their success, allowing them to shine even more.


Williams also tackles the don’ts of asking for a raise. She talks of three common mistakes that employees usually make.

The first mistake Williams mentions is the comparison trap. Where employees will use their peers’ salaries as leverage to claim unfairness. She explains this ends up backfiring as this approach focuses on external factors and diminishes your value to the company.

Approaching the discussion with a lack of evidence is also another oversight many make. Williams says those who do not do market research, understand their company’s benchmarks or gather evidence of their accomplishments can weaken their argument and portray a lack of professionalism.

Instead, employees should quantify their impact when discussing a raise, which can help your manager recognize your valuable contributions. “Back up your salary raise request with your quantifiable achievements, market research, and company performance data.”

She urges employees to document their journey from Day One. “Mark three wins every day and three improvements or lessons you learned. Even telling them what you have learned over the months is crucial in the salary raise request.”

Circumstance is everything. This is why negative body language, poor timing, and inappropriate settings can lead to failure. Employees must be mindful of their body language and cultivate a positive, professional presence. They must also avoid asking for raises when the company faces layoffs, budget cuts, or financial struggles, as it can make them seem insensitive and tone-deaf.

“Choose a calm, private setting or after a successful project completion. Avoid busy periods, and wait for a neutral context after resolving any recent issues.”


Choosing the ideal time to approach a raise or promotion is essential to ensuring success. So how can you tell when the perfect time is?

 “This could be after a significant achievement or a series of consistent high performance or exceeding expectations for a prolonged period in your current role. If this progress contributes to the company’s growth and it’s been over 6 months in the current role, proactively schedule a dedicated meeting with your manager,” says Williams.

Tork says it’s better to schedule a separate meeting with your manager to discuss a raise rather than wait for performance reviews. He highlights the importance of employees having specific examples of their performance and how it impacted the company’s success.


According to Williams, the key is to be prepared and not set oneself up for a failed discussion. She emphasizes that facing a lower offer or a flat-out denial of a raise can be disheartening. Still, you can adeptly navigate these challenging situations with proper preparation and resilience.

“It all comes down to whether or not this is a thriving company with a culture of open communication that might be more receptive to proactive requests. Factors like company culture, recent financial performance, and layoffs are to be considered before planning your discussion. Individuals must remember, your worth doesn’t solely depend on salary.”

When receiving a counteroffer, Williams says the employee should: 

  • Evaluate: Compare the offer to expectations & market data.
  • Counter: Use achievements & data to justify higher value.
  • Explore: Consider bonuses, benefits, and flexibility.
  • Revisit: If unsatisfied, request a timeline for future raise discussion.

She also explains what someone should do when handling a denial:

  • Thank them for their time, ask for the rationale behind the decision, and listen constructively.
  • Use the opportunity to understand areas for improvement and skills needed and set goals for future advancement.
  • Discuss alternative career growth options within the company that align with your aspirations.
  • Depending on your circumstances and career goals, you may decide to stay, re-evaluate your request later, or seek new opportunities elsewhere.


Asking for a raise or promotion can make us nervous and anxious, but overcoming these emotions through effective emotional control can empower you to negotiate successfully.

Williams says the practice helps. Practicing can involve role-playing your conversations with a friend or colleague, recording yourself to identify key areas for improvement, and researching successful negotiations.

Remember why you need this raise to curb the urge to back out. Williams says to outline three key important emotional reasons for why you need to succeed in this conversation.

“Understanding your underlying motivation for wanting a raise will strengthen your resolve and provide emotional resilience,” she says.

“It’s okay to be nervous, but don’t let fear prevent you from advocating for yourself. Remember, you’re WHY whenever you hear the little critical voice in your head.”

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