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How to Negotiate a Pay Increase in a New Job Offer or in Your Current Job

Hey, who can’t use a little more cash and never has the job market been tipped more in favor of the worker.  Time to make sure you get your share of the good times.  Here are five tips to negotiate a pay increase.

  1. Think creatively. There are lots of compensation other than salary.  What about the bonus schedule, PTO (paid time off), employer reimbursements (phones, mileage, home office) and tuition reimbursements are just a few.
  2. Think timing. Don’t bring up compensation early in the interview process.  Set the hook first.  Let them get to the point where they want you, then start negotiating pay.  If you’re at an existing job, wait until you’ve just done something great for the company to ask for more money.  But even then, temper your enthusiasm with the reality that if the company is losing money or having a difficult time, the timing is not right to ask for an increase.
  3. Think turn around. What if an employer asks you how much you’re making now?  Turn this question around by stating that, “you’d like to postpone the conversation until you understand more about the position because there are many components to compensation. But let’s not waste each other’s time – what is the range of pay that you’ve budgeted for this position?”
  4. Think game plan. If you present your case to your present employer and get vague promises or a tepid response, try breaking the increase into two parts with the second adjustment predicated on meeting objective performance metrics.  Follow up any such agreements with an email just to make sure that you understood your employer correctly and to insure against future foggy memories.
  5. Think negotiation. Just because you got an offer to go elsewhere doesn’t mean you should just immediately jump ship.  What about going to your current employer and expressing how much you love the company and love your job but you just got this offer that you can’t ignore?  Inquire about your future with the company and what promotions or pay increases might be looming in the near future.  Give your current employer a chance to beat the offer if you really do like your current job.