The New Year is a natural time for taking stock of one’s situation, including at work. Some people decide to look for another job. Others choose to negotiate with an employer for a raise. Employees who have not received a pay raise while at a job for over a year, or who have taken on new responsibilities, may want to plan a conversation with their current employer and ask for a higher wage. 

In preparation for negotiating a pay increase, many people make a list of accomplishments they’ve achieved, and the value they bring to their job. They practice what they are going to say. This is sometimes done with a friend or family member acting as the employer. When it’s time for the meeting, the employee has already given a lot of thought to what they are going to say. 

When asked what raise they are looking for, people should give a dollar amount at the top of their desired range. This is very important because all discussions that follow during the negotiation will be based on this dollar amount. Because of research the employee does before the meeting, the dollar amount is a number that is fair to both the employer and the employee. 

Strong negotiators are knowledgeable about their industry, are clear on what a highly skilled worker is, and know what type of worker is the most valuable for their current employer. They’ve researched to find out how much others are earning in the area for the same job. Talent and experience also factor in the amount of negotiable pay. Good negotiators have a clear price range they are willing to accept before talking to a supervisor. 

Pay increases are not always granted. Sometimes an employer may feel there need to be job performance improvements. Or the employer may be looking for specific job experience that an employee lacks. By knowing what is required in order to get a raise, a person can work toward those goals. Based on feedback, the employer might be willing to provide an employee with the training they need to jump to that higher income level. 

If an employee has followed the steps above and asked for an increase, but either did not get one or feels that the level of compensation is not adequate, it might be time to look for another job. There are other considerations to keep in mind, however, including how much one enjoys the work and the colleagues. Enjoying where one works holds value, too, and is important.