6 Strategies to Negotiate a Pay Raise with Confidence

6 Strategies to Negotiate a Pay Raise with Confidence

Shot of two businesswoman working together in an office
(Image: iStock/gradyreese)


Ready to approach your employer about a pay raise? “Keep in mind that it’s not just about what you think you’re worth, but also about what your employer thinks your contributions are worth paying for, says Rachel Kim, SoFi career strategist and coach.

So if you’re ready to take a seat at the negotiating table, come prepared and negotiate with confidence. Kim provided Black Enterprise with a few do’s and don’ts on how to pitch your boss on a pay increase.


External research  When trying to get a sense of your market value, third-party, websites like Glassdoor, Salary.com, and Comparably are a great place to start. However, it’s important to remember that these numbers are 100% self-reported and not verified.

Bring the energy — People pay just as much attention to how you present yourself as they do to what you actually say. Come in with enthusiasm and a positive attitude.

Focus on exceeding, not meeting expectations — Talk about the work that you’re doing and the ways that you are contributing above and beyond your job description. Touching on the great work you are doing is good, but remember–that’s your job. It’s important to show how you are bringing additional value to your manager, team, and the company.


Focus on performance outside of your own— When the company is excelling it can be tempting to feel like you also deserve to be getting paid more. However, avoid referencing company performance in your own negotiations unless you are going to make the case that you directly impacted how well the company is doing in a concrete way.

Get stuck on a specific number — By putting a specific salary number out there, there is a chance that you may be rejected outright or receive less than you might have if you had not been so specific. Instead, come in with a range that you’d be comfortable with, this way you don’t undersell yourself.

Declare that you deserve it — Confidence and assertiveness can be positive traits within the workplace, but a sense of entitlement when it comes to wage negotiations can make for a closed conversation.