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    13 Tried And True Negotiation Tips People Say Have Helped Them Get A Raise

    "I expected to be fired for the audacity. Instead my salary nearly doubled."

    Raise your hand if you want to make more money!

    Paramount Pictures / Via giphy.com

    Yep, basically everyone wants more cash. But if you don't happen to be a master negotiator, asking to be paid more can feel pretty scary. And once you work up the courage to ask, then you have to figure out *how* to ask, how much to ask for, and how to prepare. It's...a lot.

    So to find some real-world tips, I asked members of the BuzzFeed Community to share what's worked for them when negotiating a higher starting salary or raise. Here's what they had to say:

    1. For starters, you'll never know if you don't ask, and the worst that can happen is hearing a "no."

    CBC / Via giphy.com

    "The number-one way to get paid more is by asking! The worst management can do is tell you 'no.' I was brand-new in my field and had only been at my position for six months. I requested a meeting with my manager and presented an organized list of why I deserved more money. I ended up getting a $4/hour raise and making more than senior staff members in the same position, simply because they settled for what the company was paying them, no questions asked."

    hellomiriah

    By the way, many people worry that they'll be judged or punished in some way for asking for an amount that's too high, but if your workplace is generally a pretty healthy place to be, then there shouldn't be any negative consequences just for asking.

    2. If you're getting higher offers elsewhere, ask management if they can match them.

    "TBH, I cried. I loved my job and team and told my boss I couldn't stay at my current pay as it was way below what I needed to live and make student loan payments. But truly I told them I was getting offers much higher than what I was at, and unless they could match, I had no choice but to leave (It was a $15K raise)."

    hollyth

    3. And don't think that you can only negotiate for more in higher-paying jobs. No matter what your starting wage is, you can always ask for more.

    NBC / Via giphy.com

    "Many people don’t realize lower-wage jobs are negotiable as well. I once applied for a concierge position at $10 per hour, and during the interview I straight up told them, 'I’m actually looking for something a bit more competitive with other hotels in the area, possibly $14 per hour,' and they said OK!"

    josephsays

    4. If negotiating is out of your comfort zone, get a confidence boost by talking to people you're close with.

    "When I first started my job, in my application phase they asked for a salary range. I gave one that spanned about $5,000 based on research I had done for the position and others like it. When I was offered the job, they offered me the salary at the very low end of that range. It was my first adult job, and I really went back and forth about negotiating, especially since I was entering a male-dominated field as a woman, but with encouragement from friends and my parents I asked for them to give me the salary at the top of the range due my past internship experience and my degree. I went all the way back to the top expecting them to meet me in the middle, but they accepted my proposition, and that’s how I started $5,000 ahead in my career and am now making $11K more than that initial salary just two years later!"

    emmaf488106518

    5. Always do your research on salaries for comparable roles so that you know how much your work is worth.

    NBC / Via giphy.com

    "My wife did the research ahead of time to figure out the average salary for the position she was applying for for someone with her qualifications. The offer she got was a couple thousand a year less than what she wanted, so she high-balled a counter offer 10% above what was offered. The employer countered with an offer that split the difference, which ended up a little higher than she had been hoping for in the first place.

    Key takeaways:

    Know what your work is worth. Research, and bring the data when you ask.

    Ask. By the time they’ve made a job offer, they won’t ditch you for asking. At worst, they say no.

    Base your salary expectations on the job you’ll be doing, not on what you got paid at the last place."

    senexbarbatus

    6. You don't have to be established in a career to ask for more money — and you can even start building negotiating muscle in your first job.

    "I had just turned 17 and was working at my first job (a health food store) for a little over 6 months when I asked for a raise. I wanted more than the minimal wage (13.10 CAD) and had a lot of reasons. My colleagues backed me up and told me I deserved it. I arranged a meeting with the owner and just said I wanted a raise. I asked if he wanted me to make my case. He said, "No, it's fine — how much do you want?" I wanted 14. He said yes right away and applied the raise starting the week prior! It was a huge confidence boost for me."

    lucybrownebredeau007

    7. If you've taken on responsibilities outside of your job description, look into the market rates for that work and use that info to fight for your raise.

    FX / Via giphy.com

    "I was an office admin. I had started off just answering the phones, filing, maintaining the conference room schedule, etc. After a year, I was also doing office IT and was more like an executive assistant/office manager/property manager. I googled what people in those positions make, and it was at least 10K more a year than I was getting. I printed out my results and put together a PowerPoint presentation, which I then gave to the big boss. I got 12K added to my salary."

    kyliec43a74b818

    "I went through my job description line by line and came up with loads of work I was doing above and beyond, alongside everything else. It's hard to do because job descriptions are kept vague so they can essentially just keep giving you whatever they want. But I had my manager's backing and help, so we made it work."

    laraterryr

    8. Don't just focus on your hourly rate when you're negotiating. Instead, make sure to ask about other benefits like mileage reimbursement or flexible hours.

    "I'm in healthcare, and I always research average wages in the area so I'm prepared when I'm given an offer. I usually use Glassdoor, Facebook groups for my profession, and word of mouth. I factor in how badly the company needs a therapist and things like mileage and time spent driving to and from work. I also negotiate mileage and pay for time spent traveling between buildings during my workday and make sure that is covered. I always add in a few extra dollars per hour just to ensure I don't start too low. Some jobs I've applied for, there has been very little wiggle room and its more of a take it or leave it situation. Others I've gotten $5 more an hour than I expected to get."

    lm1719

    9. If you work in a customer-facing position, having great reviews can go a long way.

    Nickelodeon / Via giphy.com

    "I didn’t even ask for a raise. A loyal customer went to the manager and told him I needed one. I got top rate the next day!"

    rachellynneh1991

    I love this story, but in most cases, you will most likely have to ask for your raise. However, having great customer feedback like this can be a wonderful thing to bring with you to the table when it's time to negotiate. So save all your best reviews, and don't be shy about showing them off to your manager.

    10. If your employer is exploiting you, taking bold action could be worth the risk.

    "I'm in tech, so it's very male oriented anyway. But my particular company had a habit of being very much lacking in diversity. As a result I found myself being pulled into client meetings and put on the website as if to say, 'Look a POC and a woman to boot.' My aunt who is an executive at a Fortune 500 company and a lawyer was appalled and looked over my contract. She set me up with another lawyer who sent my company a letter and demanded they not only pay me near the top of the range for the position but also pay me for using my appearance and likeness for company promotion. I expected to be fired for having the audacity. Instead my salary nearly doubled, my position changed, and the company agreed to pay me for using my photo in marketing material, resulting in a check of 10K."

    akdani

    Not everyone has access to a lawyer, but if you're in a similar situation, you might try writing your own letter that outlines all of your unpaid contributions as a start.

    11. Always ask for a little more than what you want. Most likely, the company will want to meet you in the middle.

    Comedy Central / Via giphy.com

    "When transferring to a new a city with my company, they came in with their initial offer. I countered with about 10% higher, which ultimately ended with them re-countering with the actual amount I wanted. Always go a bit higher than what you truly want. If they truly value you, they will meet somewhat in the middle, and you’ll be getting what you truly deserve."

    lelapalat

    12. Don't forget to highlight any leadership experience or education that you have.

    "First, it is always best to tell whoever is offering you a job that you need a few days to think about the offer. One of my jobs gave me 24 hours to sign and accept their offer, and that is just a tactic employers use so you don't have time to counter. In those 24 hours, I stayed up to search for average pay in my area for the job and my education background. This is usually higher than what they are offering at first. They want to save money where they can! 

    Also make sure to include all of the leadership roles you held in your graduate/undergrad years or your previous job, any big deals you helped land in your last position, etc. Certifications also help you pull in that extra credibility over an average worker because remember: AVERAGE PAY IS FOR AVERAGE WORKERS. You can start off with a pay that would have taken you years on the job to work up to."

    syracutie

    13. And finally, sometimes the best way to get paid more is to go work somewhere else.

    Netflix / Via giphy.com

    "I gave them my bottom amount, and when they declined I quit.

    I already had a new job lined up, and I was well aware of my abilities and strengths for the company ([it] was a small independent company).

    I knew they would either pay me what I deserve or eventually realize the mistake and that I was worth it.

    Long story short, I quit. Then six months later got a text from the owner, went in and talked to them, and I'm currently back there for more money than I originally asked for. 🤷🏻‍♀️"

    vikki_the_great

    Note: Submissions have been edited for length and clarity.

    Do you have a genius negotiating tip that wasn't covered here? Share what's worked for you in the comments, and for more on money and careers, check out the rest of our personal finance posts.

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