Money·3 min read

Want a Raise? Read This Before Sending Your Boss a Calendar Invite

accessibility, salary negotiation
Design: theSkimm | Photo: Getty Images
April 13, 2022

That small window between getting and accepting a job offer is typically the best time for salary negotiation.But you can negotiate pay with your current employer, too.

Great news. How should I prepare for a salary negotiation?  

Know your worth. Before the convo, research the average salary for your industry. You can try sites like and’t forget to factor in your experience, special skill set, and location. If results show that your current pay is subpar, use your findings to set a realistic target salary range.

Hint: Add a little extra to that target when it comes time to ask for your raise. That way, if your boss counters with a lower offer, it could still be more than what you expected.

Back up. What if my pay is in range? Should I not ask for a raise?

If you want more, be ready to make your case for why you deserve it. Keeping track of your performance for this discussion is a good idea. Exceeding role expectations can be a huge help when it comes to asking for a raise.

Even better: Have data to back you up. Showing how your work contributed to bringing in big sales, new customers, or some other hard number that your company values can be a strong argument for more pay. Or decide if it’s better to ask for a promotion and a bigger raise.

And if you have an offer from a different company, use that leverage.But be cautious with this approach so no one is offended. Try asking your boss for advice on handling the job offer. That way it’s a problem you’re solving together. And add industry stats to the conversation. Don’t let the outside offer be the only reason you’re asking for a raise. 

I have all the deets. Now what? 

Request a meeting with your boss to discuss your salary and other benefits. PS: We Skimm’d a few negotiation terms to help prepare for your meeting.

What else should I know about asking for a raise?

Practice makes perfect. It can help you build confidence and feel more in control. If you have a friend, family member, or mentor you trust, you can role play with them for a few negotiation dry runs.

If you don’t have a mentor yet (they can also be great resources for all your career development advice), think about whose job you’d want in the next five years. That could be the perfect person to ask to be your mentor. You should also look at your network. Is anyone unofficially mentoring you already?

What if I don’t get the raise?

If more money isn't in the cards right now, you can negotiate for non-salary compensation, too. Like the ability to work remotely, take more paid time off, or other benefits and perks. You can also ask for more professional development that could help you earn more money later.

Bonus: Non-salary conversations show initiative. Which can also help with future salary negotiations.

If your employer refuses to budge, and you’re sure your salary is an industry low, be prepared to walk away (here’s how to quit). And prepare to negotiate your salary with a new potential employer.  

PS: You can also get that found money feeling without the raise negotiations.


It’s never too late for a salary boost. The key to successfully negotiating pay is to be prepared. Oh, and you can use those negotiation skills can help you save more, too.

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