The easiest way to make more money? Ask for it. (Here’s how)

Fewer than half of people negotiate their salaries or ask for raises, and those who do are making considerably more money than those who don’t.

According to Jobvite’s most recent recruiter survey, 84 per cent of the people who do negotiate their salary end up receiving higher pay. Negotiating works. In roughly 20 per cent of cases, people saw their salaries rise significantly, by 11 to 20 per cent.

Think about how that could impact your monthly paycheque. Then calculate the difference it might make over the course of your career. Not negotiating is leaving serious money and the table.

How to negotiate a higher salary

Every negotiation is a business transaction. You need to demonstrate the market value of your work. How your contributions merit greater compensation. Make a business case for how the value you bring to the company is worth more than you are currently being offered in return.

Don’t go into a job interview making demands for how much money you want to make. Those discussions should happen after you’ve impressed the employer with your abilities and passion for the role. Once they have decided that they want to hire you and are ready to make an offer, the negotiations can begin.

When you are asked your desired salary, start with a wide range.  For example, “I know that positions similar to this generally pay between $70,000 and $85,000, and given my credentials, I would fall towards the higher end of that range. But of course, the exact figure would depend on the specifics of the job itself, and the total compensation package offered. Can we discuss the details of those?”

Demonstrate the reasons you deserve to be paid at the higher end of the range. This is where you highlight way your previous experience and accomplishments make you a more valuable asset to the company than the average candidate might be.

Choose your range based what similar roles in the sector pay. Do your research. Sites like Payscale and Glass Door publish salaries reported by their users. Statistics Canada also publishes the average salaries for job titles by industry and region based on the Labour Force Survey results.

Ask for slightly more than you actually want. You might just get it. However, most companies will counter offer an initial salary request, so by asking for more, you leave room to negotiate an outcome that makes you and the employer happy.

Money isn’t everything. You can negotiate for more than just your base pay. Think about the whole job offer and compensation package. Job title, training opportunities, vacation time, flexible scheduling, or the ability to work remotely, can all increase the value of the job offer. Many non-salary aspects of the job can also be negotiated.

These same principles hold true when you are requesting a pay increase in your current job. When asking for a raise, you must prove how your work is creating more value for the company.

So, come to any discussion about a salary increase ready to demonstrate how you have taken on more work or responsibility since your last pay raise. If possible, use hard figures that show how your accomplishments have led to greater success for the company.

Just don’t complain about how you find your salary unfair, or how your personal expenses have changed and that you need your money. Your lifestyle is none of your boss’ business. A salary negotiation is only about the market value of your work, not your personal financial needs. Don’t bring emotion into it.

The easiest way to increase your salary is to ask for it. Negotiate your pay. People who do end up making more money than those who don’t. And if you can’t get quite the figure you were looking for, don’t be bitter. Fix your job. Work hard, make yourself indispensable to the company, deliver great results, and then renegotiate.

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