Negotiating Your Pay Raise

Sean Thomas

There comes a time for all of us when we have been within our job for a year or more and we know it is time to ask for a pay raise.  Our individual situations might vary – some PR agencies have a regular review meeting to discuss pay increases, while at others the mere mention of discussing salary will see your boss running for the hills.

One thing is certain though – asking for a higher wage is a nerve wracking process that often leaves us disappointed and wondering if we could have done better.

But it doesn’t have to be this way if you do the necessary preparation beforehand.

Why do I deserve a pay raise?

It’s a simple truth that you have been hired for a reason – to make the agency money through retaining and growing their client base and providing outstanding work.  Spend some time making a list of all the ways that you do these things, and the unique skills you have that others might not.  Wherever possible align your successes with the corporate values of your agency, and if you are able try to determine the dollar value that you are contributing.

How much should I ask for?

Be creative with your request!  Don’t just focus on your base wage as there are a lot of additional bonuses you might find a lot easier to negotiate, particularly when your business is being cost conscious.  Promotions and increased responsibility, additional paid annual leave, reduced working hours, the opportunity to work from home, professional education expenses, a mobile phone or laptop, stock options and even more can all be negotiated as part of a pay raise.  Do your research on; and and be sure to have examples of higher paying jobs as evidence of market value during your request.

Getting to yes

You won’t always get what you ask for the first time around, but that doesn’t mean that negotiation is over.  It just means that you need to ask the question “I understand you might not be able to say yes right now.  What needs to happen over the next 6 months so we are both happy with me getting the salary increase that I am after?”

And remember last of all that the noisy bird gets fed!  The best time to ask for a pay raise is right now and provided it’s done politely and professionally your boss will respect your courage and ambition.

Sean Thomas is a human resources expert and he currently is responsible for recruitment and salary negotiation with a Fortune 500 organization.  He is the author of “The Insider’s Guide to Getting the Pay Raise That You Deserve” and his blog can be found at

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *