Negotiating a raise is tricky business, but if you deserve one, you need to assert your worth to make sure you get paid what you rightfully earn. Tons of factors go into negotiating raises, and every situation, person, company, employee and employer is different. That said, there are a few moves to make sure to avoid when you’re negotiating a raise, no matter what. Here are the big 4 negotiation no-nos:
1. Don’t cite your own financial hardships or personal life as a reason to get a raise.
It sounds harsh, but your personal life (hopefully) has nothing to do with your boss. Raises are based on your value to the company, not whether you’re $30,000 in debt because you majored in basketweaving and bought too many shoes. Save the sob stories for when you’re asking for money from your spouse or parents. This isn’t the company’s problem, and if you make it seem so, you’ll just annoy them and earn side-eye instead of a salary bump.
Never act entitled.
You should never act entitled to begin with because it’s awful, annoying and immature. You especially shouldn’t act entitled during a salary negotiation because for everything you think you deserve just for the fact that you exist, an employer can counter with costs and performance reviews that may prove you’re actually entitled to less than you think.
Don’t compare your own salary to that of your colleagues.
Salary transparency is rare. Even if you have salary transparency at your company, you don’t know really what each individual coworker brings to the table in terms of results, experience or attitude, or at least what your boss’s perceptions of those are. Plus, if you bring up that Jan makes X more than you do, your boss may think you guys were conspiring behind her back, which doesn’t make either of you look good.
Don’t threaten to leave if you don’t get a raise.
If you’re not getting a raise, your boss thinks you’re not as valuable to the company as you think you are. If you threaten to leave, they may well let you. Don’t make any ultimatums you aren’t financially ready to follow through on. Additionally, managers understand that asking for a raise implies you may walk soon if you don’t get one, so spelling it out for them is not only a potentially empty threat, but it’s also insulting and makes them think you’re not loyal to the company—and those who are loyal usually get the salary increases.