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Asking your boss for a raise can be terrifying, even if you really deserve it. But not being paid fairly for the work you do is even scarier. Salary negotiation is so daunting to some people, 44% in fact, that they never bring it up in performance reviews. Learning how to conquer asking for a raise will pay off in the long run.


First, make sure you know your value. Do some research into the market salary in your industry and especially where you live. Have a number in mind before you even walk into the negotiation. Don’t be afraid to talk to other people in your field to see what their salary is as well. However, don’t be disrespectful in your negotiations. Avoid using phrases like “I work harder than anyone else” or “Other companies would pay me this salary.”


Be sure that you’re ready for a raise before you ask for one. Have you been with the company for more than a year? What have you been able to deliver in your tenure? Have you taken on any additional responsibilities in your time? Do you go above and beyond when possible? You should answer yes to all of these questions before you go and ask for a raise. A company won’t want to pay you more than they already do if you haven’t displayed any additional value to them.


While a performance review is a convenient time to bring up your salary, but by then it’s usually too late. Most likely, your boss will already have decided who is getting a raise before performance reviews begin. Start approaching the subject around three or four months before it’s time for your review. This is when your boss will be deciding the budget. Make sure your raise is accounted for in it.


Practice makes perfect. Practice asking your boss about a raise over and over again until you can do it in your sleep. Write down exactly what you want to say and memorize it and repeat it until you’re comfortable. Being well-rehearsed will help you from sounding shaky and unsure. Instead, you’ll seem confident and well-prepared, which will make your boss take you seriously.


Now that you know the best ways to prepare for salary negotiations make sure to put them into practice before your next performance review.