Asking for a higher salary: 7 tips

By Robert Half on 08/02/2019

If you have been doing the same job for quite a while, you probably do a lot more than when you started. Presumably you have been given extra responsibilities too, and of course you have a lot more work experience. Perhaps you feel you should really be earning more than you are currently getting on your bank account each month.

So, you buck up your courage and boldly ask for a meeting with your boss. But how should you go about a salary negotiation actually?

Read our seven tips for getting a raise and go to the negotiating table well prepared. 

Tip 1: sell yourself for a raise

Obviously, to get a raise, you first need to demonstrate why you deserve a higher salary. That means you need to sell yourself, so that your employer can see what responsibilities you have, what projects you have brought to a successful conclusion, and how you help the rest of the team. 

Tip 2: prepare well for the discussion 

If you have decided to ask for a meeting, it is important to prepare for it well. You should not only have your arguments ready (see tip 1), you also need to find out what you would earn in the same position somewhere else. A salary calculator is the ideal tool for that.

Tip 3: ask your colleagues for more information

Perhaps not everyone wants to talk about their salary, but if there are colleagues who are open about it, you can use their information to negotiate for a higher salary. Does your colleague earn much more than you, although you do the same job? Then you can use this information during the negotiations.

Tip 4: choose the right moment to ask for a raise

Some moments are better for asking for a raise than others. Have you just achieved something special, got a diploma or put your employer on the map in a positive way? Then you have a definite advantage if you’re looking for a raise.

Tip 5: stay realistic about a salary increase

A golden tip: don’t ask for too much. By naming an amount that is too high you not only come over as unprofessional, you might also annoy your employer. It is better to ask for 100 euros twice than to ask for 200 euros once.  If a higher salary is not possible, you can always test the options for fringe benefits (a company car or cell phone, for example).

Tip 6: always stay friendly

Even if it looks like the negotiations are not going your way, it is important to stay friendly always. Suggesting you are going to look for another job only works against you. Not only can you forget a raise after a suggestion like that, you also tarnish your good name with your employer.

Tip 7: don’t beat about the bush

Even if you find it difficult to ask for a raise, it is better not to beat about the bush. Just get to the point. It is fine to start with a few generalities, but if after half an hour you still haven’t asked for a raise, it is taking too long.


How much should I earn — or offer?

Explore in an accessible and interactive way everything you need to know about starting salaries for a wide range of jobs and the latest labour market trends for more various positions in administrative, HR and office support, finance and accounting, IT and project and interim management.

Learn from Robert Half’s expert recruiters so you can build a talented team of employees or advance your career. Operating in over 300 locations worldwide, with 12 offices in Belgium, including our Brussels agency, Robert Half can provide you with assistance including IT specialist recruitment, where and when you need it.

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