Most Employees Who Have Recently Asked for a Raise Have Gotten One. Here's How to Negotiate

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  • These days, many companies are struggling with employee retention.
  • You shouldn't hesitate to fight for higher wages, but it's important to have the right strategy.

Now's the time to pursue higher pay.

In today's labor market, it's easy to argue that workers have the upper hand. Many companies are having a difficult time retaining talent due to the sheer abundance of available jobs. That puts workers in a prime position to command better pay and superior benefits.

If you're looking for a job, you may be happy with the salary you're presented with. But if not, you shouldn't hesitate to negotiate for better pay. Similarly, if you've been at the same job for a while, now may be a good time to talk numbers with your boss -- and see if you can boost your wage.

Fidelity reports that 85% of Americans who recently negotiated with employers on salary, other compensation, or job-related benefits got at least some of what they asked for. That's why you shouldn't hesitate to go after the raise you feel you deserve.

But it's important to approach that talk strategically. Here's how to prepare.

1. Do your research

Do you know what the average person with your job title and experience earns? If not, you're already at a disadvantage.

Rather than approach a salary negotiation without that key information, do your research. Use sites like to dig up wage data for your industry and use it to shape your discussion.

Imagine you earn $70,000 a year at your job and you're eager to snag the maximum salary boost you think you can get. If you do your research and find that the average person with your job earns $80,000, that's data worth putting in front of your employer, as it certainly supports your argument for a pay bump.

At the same time, in this scenario, you wouldn't necessarily want to go in asking for a $100,000 salary -- unless, of course, you're exceptional at what you do. Over-asking is a good way to ruin an otherwise productive conversation.

2. Talk up your skills

Maybe you're the most adept software engineer in your department. Or maybe your editing prowess clearly sets you apart from the pack. No matter what it is you excel at, don't hesitate to talk up your skills. Having confidence in the value you bring is a good way to get a raise.

3. Offer to do more

Your manager probably doesn't want to feel like they're being taken for a ride on the salary front. So rather than go in and make demands, give a little, too. Offer to take over a certain recurring task, or sign up to lead a new project that's important to your company. That's a good way to earn your raise -- and make your employer feel better about giving you one.

What could more money do for you?

For some people, a raise could mean having an easier time building savings and paying for leisure activities. For others, it's more a matter of pride. But either way, in today's labor market, you shouldn't hesitate to go after a raise if it's possible to make the case for one. And if you employ these tips, you may end up with a higher paycheck as a result.

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