7 Tips for Negotiating a Salary Increase After a Promotion

April Powell
by April Powell   Career Advice Expert 

Getting a raise is a pretty standard part of receiving a well-earned promotion but what if the bump in pay was missing from the equation or was lower than you were expecting? Negotiating salary is an uncomfortable but necessary reality for many women.

However, salary negotiations are an unavoidable (and extremely important) part of building a career and a livelihood. Further, simply accepting the title change without negotiating a fair pay increase can have a ripple effect that has the potential to impact your salary for years to come.

The key to negotiating a salary increase after receiving a promotion is to come up with a plan before talking to your manager about whether or not to accept the new role.

Below, we list the seven steps to follow for a successful salary negotiation following a recent promotion:

1. Be your own best advocate

Women, in general, are often much more likely to advocate for others than they are for themselves. If you are nervous about the negotiation, it may help to think of your conversation as blazing the path for other female employees who will follow in your footsteps. Once you’ve earned your promotion, you can reach down and pull others up.

2. Do your research and come prepared

In all likelihood, your new role will have a different rate of pay than the one you’ve been performing. Log on to a salary calculator that allows you to input your location and years of experience to find out the rate in your area. Salary.com and Glassdoor.com are great tools for assessing whether you are being underpaid.

3. Assess your contributions

When pitching your boss for additional pay following a promotion, gather all the data and evidence you have of your superior performance and accomplishments, and bring your documentation to the meeting. Try to quantify your accomplishments and the positive outcomes they’ve had on the company — for example, did you train 25 new employees who performed well? Did your friendly customer service improve sales?

4. Set aside time for the conversation

If your promotion and raise have been split into two discussions, tackle the raise after you’ve been granted the promotion, using your data about what the position generally pays to support the extra cash you’re requesting. Write down a detailed list of your skills and professional successes so you’re ready to “sell” your boss on why you should receive a boost in compensation.

5. Be on the lookout for hidden workplace biases

It’s unfair, but the business world can be rougher for women. Workplace biases are sometimes under the radar, and you have to work harder to push through them. If men get promoted twice as often as women, which happens in some industries, follow the advice of Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook, who suggests that women must not only explain why they deserve a higher salary but also how the salary is tied to better performance and will help you make a greater contribution to the organization in the future.

6. Be aware of how your compensation compares to those around you

If you know your coworkers in your position have been offered a raise but you haven’t, aim at being transparent but diplomatic, The New York Times suggests. Tell your employer you are aware that others are currently outearning you without calling them out by saying, “I am aware others received a raise for the same promotion. What can I do to meet this benchmark?” You can also have a private conversation with your HR department, if you feel that you’re being treated differently, and unfairly, than your colleagues.

7. Understand your options

If your employer refuses your request for a higher raise after your promotion or is unable to give you as much of a raise as you think you’re worth, you may want to counter the offer with a request for increased benefits, such as bonuses, paid time off, commitment to a future raise, and 401(k) matching. And even if the conversation goes south, understand that “later” doesn’t mean “never.” You can revisit the topic later on, and ask your manager what milestones you might need to hit to meet your salary goals before getting that raise after promotion.

About the Author

Career Advice Expert

April Powell Career Advice Expert

April Powell is the Director of Operations at Best Money Moves and responsible for driving operational excellence across the business. Previously she was associate on the Dynamic Allocation Strategies (DAS) Team and primarily responsible for both the formation and updating of all team communications and materials as well serving as lead coordinator for the team’s ongoing investment research trips globally. Before joining William Blair in 2011, she was the business manager for Singer Partners, providing multifaceted support across all functions of the company. Formerly, April was a product strategy coordinator at UBS Global Asset Management.


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