Can you negotiate a promotion increase

Raise salary: negotiate right the first time

Negotiating my first raise

At some point, young professionals also want their first raise. Not that easy if you haven't been in the job for long. Career advisor Doris Brenner explains the right strategy.

You were able to successfully master the start of your career. You have your job responsibilities under control and you are proud of what you have achieved so far. However, when you look at your payroll, your very good work is not really reflected there. You think it's time for a raise, the question is, how do you best go about this?


Salary Negotiation - The 10 Point Plan


1. Collect good arguments for the raise


In order to be able to successfully negotiate a salary increase, it is first necessary to think about good reasons for it. Anyone who only argues that he has been with the company for several years and has not done anything in terms of salary will not be able to score for himself.

The argument that everything is becoming more expensive and that you simply need more money for life has little chance of success. Your argumentation should always be based on achievements and successes, because only then could you achieve a benefit for the company.


2. Before the salary interview: take stock of successes


It is therefore very helpful if you work continuously over the year to document your track record. Content could be, for example:

  • Where did you manage to save money for the company?
  • Have you been able to win new orders or optimize processes?
  • Did you help your boss achieve his goals?
  • Or did you show particular commitment in a critical situation?

Prepare your salary interview with your boss thoroughly. You should never place your desired salary on the side between the door and the hinge. Make an appointment with your boss and ask him for time to talk. If he asks you what it is about, you can say that you would like to talk to him in peace about your work and the related framework conditions.


3. Salary comparison: determine market value


Good preparation also means that you find out about market salaries in order to be able to estimate where your market value is. Salary tables or the implementation of a salary comparison can give you a good orientation here.

Also think about how much you would like to ask for a raise. A range of three to ten percent is a common range.


4. Be careful with the argument: "... but the colleague earns significantly more."


What do the colleagues earn? That doesn't have to be a secret since January. Because under the Entgelttransparenzgesetz (Entgelttransparenzgesetz), an individual right to information applies (under certain conditions). Using the merit of colleagues as a comparison is a popular negotiating strategy. However, this should not be used as the sole argument. It is better to find convincing reasons why your performance is worth more money than before.


5. The right time to ask for more wages


The right time for a raise may also be considered. On the one hand, this relates to the habits and preferences of your boss. You shouldn't confront someone who is grumpy in the morning with the topic of salary at 8 a.m., and not even if they are under stress themselves. Furthermore, it is important to choose good timing under the aspect of the economic framework conditions.

If short-time work is being announced and the company is in the red, the general willingness to raise salaries is naturally low. Times when the company was able to land large orders, you have successfully completed a project or major new tasks are pending where the company expects an above-average commitment from you are particularly suitable.

6. Negotiating strategy for a raise


First, thank your boss for taking the time to talk to you. Give him the opportunity to comment on your job performance. If he replies positively to your question as to whether he is satisfied with your performance, you definitely have a good starting point for your wish for a raise.

Now it is a matter of factually describing your own performance and the successes achieved. Your notes from the past period will help you here, as you were able to give specific examples. Then you should clearly state your desire for a raise.


7. Dealing with objections to the desired salary


Be prepared for your boss to argue why a raise is out of the question now. Often there:

  • "We only make salary increases at the beginning of the year."
  • "The HR department didn't give us any budget."
  • "You haven't been with the company (in the position) long enough that we can talk about a raise now."
  • "The economic situation is still quite uncertain, and I won't get that through with our managing director either."

These are just a few of the common objections. It is important that you react to it calmly and objectively. If the boss pushes others forward (HR department, managing director), make sure to state that he himself considers a raise in salary to be appropriate.

So now it's a matter of working together to develop an approach on how you can enforce the salary increase in third place. By making your boss an ally, you have a common goal. If your boss argues that he himself is not convinced of the need for a raise, ask him how he came to this assessment. He is thus forced to provide arguments that you can refute if necessary based on your records and the performance overview from the past period.


8. Don't get wrapped up in the salary negotiation


Women in particular tend to recklessly give up on getting a raise if they are praised in fine words.
"Oh, what would we do without you. You are such an important support that I can always rely on. Unfortunately, there is currently no financial framework for a salary increase. You will certainly understand that."

Express that you appreciate the praise, but that every service has its price and that you therefore want to be paid in line with the market.


9. No empty threats during salary reviews


If your boss is unwilling to respond to your request for a raise, avoid being tempted to make threats out of anger. "If you don't want to give me a raise, I'll have to look for another employer!"

With such statements you only put yourself under pressure or lose your credibility if you do not quit.


10. If nothing works - test market value


If you find that you and your boss cannot find a joint solution - the Americans call it, "we agree, to disagree" - you should agree on how to deal with the issue further. The setting of specific goals or framework conditions under which a salary increase can be realized are, for example, one possibility.
Another option is simply postponing the conversation so that both sides can think again. It is only important that you do not lose sight of your goal and that the time frame for the second interview remains manageable.

If you do not see willingness in another conversation that you can get a raise, it is advisable to try out external alternatives. In this way you can determine for yourself whether your market value is actually higher than what you earn in the current company. It wouldn't be the first case that when you file your resignation, your employer suddenly puts a better offer on the table. It is well known that competition stimulates business!

And if you still do not get the result you want, it might be time to look around for something new. Browse all vacancies.