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Negotiating a raise: your guide to financial empowerment at work

May 23, 2024 by Louisiana FCU

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Ever feel like you're not getting paid enough for the work you do? Want to change that but don't know how?

You're not alone. Lots of people wonder about this stuff.

This article will show you how to ask for more money at work in a way that's well thought-out and deserved.

Understanding industry standards and assessing your skills.

Before you ask for a raise, it's important to know how much others in your job get paid and to think about what you bring to the table.

Wondering how to do that? Check out these tips:

  • Research online: Start by doing some research online to get a general idea of salary ranges for your position in your industry. Websites like Glassdoor or PayScale can provide valuable insights into average salaries based on factors like job title, location, and experience level.

  • Network with peers: Reach out to colleagues in similar roles or industry professionals through networking events, LinkedIn, or professional organizations. Discussing salary ranges with peers can provide real-world context and help you gauge where you stand compared to others in your field.

  • Consult salary surveys: Many professional associations and research firms conduct salary surveys specific to certain industries or job roles. These surveys compile data from thousands of professionals and can offer comprehensive information on average salaries, bonuses, and other compensation factors within your industry.

  • Talk to HR or managers: If you feel comfortable, consider discussing salary expectations with your HR department or direct manager. They can provide insight into company policies regarding raises and promotions and may be able to offer guidance on how your salary aligns with industry standards.

  • Consider cost of living: Keep in mind that industry standards can vary based on factors like location and cost of living. Salaries in major cities or high-cost areas may be higher than those in rural areas or regions with a lower cost of living. Take these factors into account when evaluating your salary needs.

By utilizing these strategies, you can gain a better understanding of industry standards and determine whether you're being compensated fairly for your skills and experience. 

Creating a compelling proposal and anticipating questions.

When you ask for more money, you need to explain why you deserve it. Here are some tips to consider when creating your proposal:

  1. Highlight your achievements: Make a list of all the things you've accomplished at work, like projects you've completed, goals you've met, or any extra responsibilities you've taken on. These are all reasons why you deserve a raise.

  2. Quantify your impact: Use numbers to show how your work has made a difference. For example, if you helped increase sales, saved the company money, or improved efficiency, put those numbers in your proposal. It makes your achievements more tangible and impressive.

  3. Show your commitment: Let your boss know that you're dedicated to the company and its success. Talk about any extra training or skills you've gained since you started working there. It shows that you're invested in your job and willing to go above and beyond.


It's also important to prepare for any questions your boss or HR might ask. Here are some examples of some questions you can expect:

  1. Why do you deserve a raise? Be ready to explain why you think you deserve a raise. Use the achievements and examples you've listed in your proposal to back up your request.

  2. How much of a raise are you asking for? Think about how much of a raise you want and be prepared to justify your request. Consider factors like your job performance, industry standards, and the cost of living.

  3. What have you done to earn a raise? Be ready to talk about the specific contributions you've made to the company and how they've added value. Your boss will want to know that you're worth the investment.

By preparing answers to these questions and crafting a compelling proposal, you'll be well-equipped to negotiate a raise with confidence and clarity. 

Be more prepared than this guy:


Financial planning post raise.

Getting a raise is awesome, but what do you do next?

After successfully negotiating a raise, it's essential to develop a sound financial plan to make the most of your increased income. Here's how you can effectively manage your finances post-raise:

  • Budgeting wisely: Take a close look at your new income and expenses to create a budget that reflects your updated financial situation. Remember to account for any changes in taxes or deductions resulting from your raise.

  • Saving for the future: Prioritize saving a portion of your increased income towards building an emergency fund and achieving your long-term financial goals. Aim to set aside three to six months' worth of living expenses in an easily accessible savings account to cover unexpected expenses or financial emergencies. Additionally, consider contributing to retirement accounts like a 401(k) or IRA to secure your financial future.

  • Debt management: If you have outstanding debts, such as credit card balances, student loans, or car loans, consider using a portion of your raise to accelerate debt repayment. Prioritize high-interest debts first to minimize interest costs and improve your overall financial health. Additionally, explore opportunities to refinance or consolidate debts to lower interest rates and streamline repayment.

By implementing these financial planning strategies post-raise, you can make informed decisions about managing your increased income effectively, achieving your financial goals, and securing a brighter financial future. Remember that financial empowerment is a journey, and taking proactive steps today can lead to greater financial stability and success tomorrow.


Relevant article: Build your nest egg: Best ways to invest for retirement


Looking for how you can continue to advance your relationship with money? Take the Money Mindset Quiz and enjoy tons of free resources to help jumpstart your journey to financial freedom.

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