How to Increase Your Salary: The Only Salary Negotiation Guide You’ll Need

It’s important to know your worth. The thought of salary negotiation may be enough to make even the strong-willed nervous, but determining what you need out of your career isn’t as scary as it seems. Developing your negotiation skills all starts with good communication. Mastering negotiation will help unlock a whole host of key benefits that aren’t just limited to work perks—it also aids in conflict resolution, establishing balance, and bridging the gap between expectations.  

Whether you are after a raise, requesting a transfer, or have big ideas for a new project, it’s important to be prepared. Just like any skill, you can learn to improve your negotiation expertise with the right tools. Help hone your skills with the following step-by-step guide on how to negotiate your way to your dream salary.

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Step 1: Prepare

Learning how to properly negotiate can be very beneficial. However, there is a lot of work involvedeven before you start talking to the other person!


As the saying goes, “knowledge is power.” You’ll want to go into the negotiation prepared, which meansyou guessed itresearch!

Make sure you know your market value. Research a salary range and pick the top of the range to ask your boss for. This number acts as an anchor, which will influence subsequent offers.

Another tip is to pick a specific number. Researchers have found that more specific numbers are more believable and seem more realistic than whole numbers. For example, if you mention $73,800 instead of $70,000, it seems more researched than a ballpark estimate.

Showcase Your Accomplishments

After doing your research, you’ll want to compile a list of your accomplishments in the workplace. Showcase all the work you’ve done to draw focus on your positive performance. This will increase your perceived value, which can lead to a better salary.

Make Some Promises

If you’re patient, you can set up a meeting with your boss. Ask your boss what tasks or duties you could take on to show them the value you bring to the company. Highlight all the tasks you would like to accomplish within a certain timeframe. Make sure to send regular progress updates. Remember to also be transparent; mention that you would like a salary increase sometime in the future, but you want this chance to prove yourself.

This demonstrates to your boss your dedication, commitment, and follow-through. Instead of working from behind-the-scenes, you can give real-time updates to show the value of your work.

Set up a follow-up meeting and ask your boss for some form of compensation. You’re much more likely to obtain a salary increase after achieving the work-related goals that you set  together. 


Part of being prepared is rehearsing what you are going to ask. This way, if your boss has any  reservations, you will have the perfect answer ready. This makes you sound professional, and shows that you put thought into what you say.

Step 2: Ask 

Get in the Zone

Dressing in the right clothing can help give you the confidence boost that you need! Do whatever you need to feel confident, professional, and preparedwhether that be wearing a  new blazer, power posing, or even treating yourself to a fancy coffee in the morning. 

Focus on Your Achievements

Highlighting your accomplishments with the company can start the meeting with a positive mood. This also helps increase your value, which can make asking for a salary increase seem less daunting.

Ask Questions

Other than your big ask, remember to use questions to your advantage. Find out what your boss needs from you and how you can improve. When you showcase your accomplishments, ask what your boss liked or disliked about your work. You can ask them if they have any recommendations or advice. This demonstrates your willingness to learn, improve, and grow in the workplacewhich can all lead to getting a “yes” for a salary increase.

Don’t Pressure Your Boss or Threaten to Leave

It’s likely you and your boss both hope you will have a long future within the company. There’s no need to pressure your boss or rush the decision. Make goals together; set a timeframe for tasks to be accomplished in the next few weeks, and be transparent when communicating what worked and what didn’t. This facilitates a cooperative approach, which won’t leave your boss feeling defensive. 

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Getting a Yes

If your negotiation is successful, it’s time to celebrate! Both you and your boss should feel as if you have gained something: a salary increase for you, and a valuable and productive employee for your boss.

What About Rejection?

If you get a no, then it’s time to ask more questions. You could ask for a rationale behind the decision, and ask what you can do to improve your performance. Try to get a sense of the likelihood of a salary increase in the future. If the possibility is open, you could try asking again another time.

Still not satisfied with the answers you’re getting? It may be time to reflect on whether you want to stay with the company. Mismatched expectations can have a negative impact on the work culture and job satisfaction. It’s important to remember that a career is not just a salary. 

Confused About What’s Next? Imagine Better Solutions Can Guide the Way.  

If you choose to leave your company, Imagine Better Solutions wants to help you navigate your way to your dream salary and career. We offer interview and job search training, as well as career navigation support. Contact us to get started on the next stage of your career.