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Negotiating Your Raise Before Your Annual Review

By Andy Warren,

Today we have a guest editorial from Andy Warren.

Most employees tend to go into their annual review hoping for a great raise and willing to take whatever they get, simply because it’s more than what they were getting before. Those who have walked a bit further in life know to come prepared with facts and figures to support their case for getting a larger increase. It doesn’t always work, but it’s never a bad idea to try, much like it never hurts to ask for a discount when you buy a new car.

As anyone who has ever bought a new car knows it’s one thing to ask for a discount, something else to actually save a buck or two. It takes practice and poise and some luck too, and the only way to get there is practice – which means the first few times it may not turn out as well as you had hoped!

That’s why I’m a believer in moving the hardest part of the conversation out of the review, or at least moving it to the end of the review. That’s the time to set expectations on both sides for the next year by asking for a list of exactly what you would need to do to get the maximum raise at your next review. That’s right, put your boss on the spot; surely they can quantify the things you need to do to be worth a good raise, right?

Depending on your personality and relationship with your manager you can sometimes take it even further by stating calmly that you expect to be told well in advance if you are in line to get anything other than the expected raise. This isn’t for the faint of heart, but it’s easier than trying to convince your boss to give you 4.5% instead of 4.0% because you did some number of tasks well. And isn’t it what your boss should be expecting from you, to take charge of your career and ask for goals to achieve?

Have you tried this approach, or found one you like better? Join the discussion and share the lessons!

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