Woman with hands on face looking stressed out.

Negotiating your salary isn’t easy and can even be scary. In fact, if you’re like most people, talking about money or asking for a raise or promotion can be really stressful. You don’t want to get turned down, seem unappreciative or offensive, or get caught in an awkward conversation. Most people avoid the uncomfortable confrontation altogether, but that holds them back and prevents them from moving forward in their careers. Here’s how you can beat the anxiety and ask your boss for a raise.

Practice being assertive

No matter how prepared you are when you actually ask for a raise, it will probably still be uncomfortable for you. Negotiating your salary is a learned skill that gets better with practice, so start practicing. If you can, start smaller. Ask for a discount at a restaurant or in a clothing store. The more you practice negotiating your salary, the more natural it will be to talk about finances.

Talk about your career goals

As you prepare your pitch, focus on your career goals and ask for feedback. Stress that you’re focused on your current job, but you have long-term ambitions to advance. Ask for recommendations on how to improve and what you can do to position yourself for the next role.

Ask for more responsibilities

Show you’re ready for more by mastering your current list of duties and asking to take on more responsibilities. Show that you’re proactive and a problem-solver. Figure out how you can align your goals and contribute to the long-term goals of the company.

Celebrate your own wins

It’s a lot easier for your manager to promote you if they see you’re already winning at your current job. Tell people about your accomplishments to prove that you deserve a boost in salary. Then, when you meet with your boss about a raise, be prepared to reiterate those accomplishments highlighting how they’ve added value to the company. How have you gone above and beyond to earn more money for the company and help it to grow?

Focus on what you deserve

Even though you probably have an idea of how much you need to earn in order to live, don’t focus on the need when you meet with your boss. Instead, focus on the fact that you deserve it. You’ve proven your performance added value to the company—you’ve earned it! In fact, you should do some research into salary trends at your company and for similar job titles at other companies. Give a precise number when they ask you how much you want—it shows you’re informed and know what to expect.

Practice and prepare

Rehearse your conversation in advance. Memorize the points you need to address and anticipate the questions you might get in response. In fact, be prepared to get denied. If you hear “no,” don’t walk out rejected! Instead, ask for another performance evaluation or performance appraisal in a few months. They’ll assess your performance and see how seriously you take your career.

For more advice on negotiating your salary, check out our High Desert jobs blog!

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