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NEGOTIATING A RAISE – WHEN, WHERE AND HOW

  • If you are working on contract, contract renewal time is best.  Before this time it is very difficult, from the point of view of departmental and project budgets, to change a contract that is currently in place.  Contract renewal time is also where the employer is reviewing your performance to date and your potential contributions to future projects at the company, so they are more open to the idea that you may merit a higher pay rate.
  • In a permanent placement, the best time to negotiate a salary increase is actually before you begin the job.  When talking with your future employer, discuss the timing of your first possibility for a salary increase.  Be willing to negotiate on what milestones/achievements you should have accomplished by then.
  • If you did not discuss salary increase timing before you started the job, the best time to bring the subject up is during regular performance reviews, and/or when your responsibilities or role change significantly.
  • In any case, be prepared to back up your request – assemble evidence of your fulfillment of job requirements, your value to the team, any recent enhancements to your skills, etc.  Or be prepared to negotiate a specific goal and a reward – if you can meet the goal, your employer will reward you as agreed.
  • Think ahead of time about what types of compensation you are willing to accept.  More money may simply not be possible for your supervisor.  However, they may be able to offer more training budget, more advantageous/flexible hours or vacation, or access to desirable projects or technologies.

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