Daily Tip: Prep Before Asking for a Raise

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It’s getting close to the end of the year, which means a lot of employees are thinking about their next big pay bump. Before you walk into the boss’s office and ask for more cash, though, it’s worth keeping these tips in mind:

Do Your Research: It’s helpful to know the “market rate” for your job, which you can find through multiple sources online. There’s the Dice Salary Survey, for starters, as well as the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which produces a useful Occupational Outlook Handbook. Websites such as Salary.com can also help you out.

Silence Is Your Friend: In negotiations, it pays not to talk too much. Sit, listen, and don’t say anything until your gut suggests it’s the right moment.

Let Them Make the First Move: Let your boss speak first and propose a salary package; that puts you in the strong position of making a counter-offer.

Context Isn’t Everything: Companies will sometimes use an anemic economy as a way to discourage employees from asking for raises. Don’t be intimidated by such tactics: if you do great work, that’s worth something, no matter what the state of the larger world.

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