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Navigating Your Way to a Good Raise

Katherine M. Bennett

You've been on the job long enough to prove your worth to the team, but the annual raise that accompanies your review hovers around the annual inflation rate. What should you do when you feel you're worth more? Career experts say that the art of negotiation is worth learning before you knock on your supervisor's door. Before putting forth a request, you should:

  • List your contributions and accomplishments and ascertain how they mesh with or advance the goals of your department and the mission of your organization; 
  • Use salary surveys, recruiter assessments, or other sources to determine what the market pays professionals with your experience and talents; 
  • Understand the value of the diverse incentives your organization uses to reward valued employees, including things like extra training, advanced-education reimbursements, bonuses, and additional vacation time; and 
  • Know the salary ranges for professionals with your education and experience levels at your organization.


    Now you're ready to negotiate. Remember that a relaxed, rational demeanor will help ensure that your supervisor hears your request and takes it seriously. Be sure to take any documentation with you that will bolster your case, and be patient. Salary increases outside the norm can take time to make their way through corporate channels. You'll be rewarded for your hard work if all the right ingredients are in place.