How to Negotiate for a Higher Salary (for New and Existing Jobs)

One of the ways to get out of debt is to have a higher income or get another income source.

And you can do this by either:

  1. Asking for a raise
  2. Looking for another job
  3. Doing side jobs and/or selling stuff (more on that here)


For this blog post we will discuss about tips on how to negotiate for a higher salary. This can be nerve-wracking, especially if you are the type who avoids conflict. But sometimes you don’t have a choice but either to resign (due to various reasons, not just the salary) or ask for a raise if you think the company is not being fair.

Either way, you will still end up in the negotiation table. So we hope the tips below will help you receive the pay that you think is best for you.

As they say, if you DON’T ask then the answer is always a big fat NO.

However, before you go marching to your boss’ office (or going to that interview), there are some things you need to prepare first. The tips below apply too if you are looking for another job.


What do I need to prepare before asking for a raise

1. Decide if you deserve the raise

This step is the most important. It can make or break your negotiation. It’s like answering your boss’ question “Why do I need to pay you more than my other employees? What value can I get out of you? Are you ready to meet my expectations?

This is when you contemplate what you have achieved so far and what you are currently accomplishing in your role. It’s also how you have saved your organization’s resources and the value you have given.

This doesn’t always have to be quantifiable, especially if you do not belong in the Sales department.

It can be how you have helped finish a project successfully, picking up slack from an employee who has recently resigned, any task where you have gone over and above without getting extra credit, or always being the reliable person who renders overtime just to make sure everything will get finished on time.

You can also ask for a raise if you find out that you are being paid lower than your colleagues who do the same type of work. (However, don’t bring this up to your boss when you ask for a raise because this looks unprofessional. Focus instead on no.2 below)

2. Jot down your accomplishments

After contemplating on no.1 above, it’s now time to list down your accomplishments. (Yes, you don’t ask for a raise after 1 day of deciding you want a raise. You need a plan, an ammo, like a warrior going to a battlefield!)

Apart from your accomplishments, the ones you need to highlight are those you have exerted a big effort to, those that are beyond the call of duty. You also need to highlight those tasks you did that have been crucial to your team’s success.

On the latter, however, the best time to strike is when the iron is hot. So it’s best to ask for a raise after the success of your team.

3. Do research

Companies usually have what you can call “industry standards”. Each position has their salary level, in minimum, average and maximum levels. Like for example, an accountant can have the range AU 40,773 to AU 81,865 (depending on area and position).

Knowing the industry standard in your area will help you understand how much raise you will ask and how you compare to others.

4. Ask yourself why you don’t need a raise

Your boss or HR will most probably fire away points why you should not have a raise, or why they should not give you your asking rate. So prepare for these attacks and fire with your witty counterattack. Plan how you will argue against those reasons.

5. Is it a good time to ask

Here are some questions to ask yourself if this is the right time to ask for a raise:

  • Is it your performance review
  • Have you just finished a successful project
  • Did you not get a raise last performance review (or you just got a small raise)
  • Were you evaluated unfairly without a discussion
  • Is your company not having budget or revenue issues
  • Is your boss overstressed

If it is not the right time, still continue preparing for your plan so when the right time comes, you will be ready.

6. Do not leave… yet

If you are looking for a higher paying job, it would help if you don’t resign from your current job yet especially if you have bills to pay. You will be more assertive to get the pay you want and walk away if they can’t meet it.

However, every situation is different so decide what you think is best.

Confrontation time! Let’s say you have prepared the things above and now you are ready.


Tips on How to Negotiate for a Higher Salary

 How to Negotiate for a Higher Salary

1. If you will be talking to your boss, have a dialogue in mind so you won’t lose track of what you will say

For example:

I’ve been involved in this [ project ] in the last [indicate how long you’ve worked on the project]. I’ve also initiated [project] and this has resulted in a [indicate the project’s success]. Also, I’ve [indicate other tasks you have done] which has greatly helped our company [results]. Based on these accomplishments and industry standard [mention your salary research], I would like to ask if I can have this [raise]….

If you notice we have focused on your accomplishments. Do the same too in your interviews.

2. Be professional

As mentioned above, if you are asking for a raise because you find out you are earning less than your colleagues in the same level, do not mention it because you will be taken as someone who loves gossip. Just focus on your accomplishments and skills.

Don’t give an ultimatum as well, like “I need this raise or else – !” , if you don’t want to risk losing your job. You don’t want to come across as someone demanding. Be assertive, but say your points in a nice way, be patient and understanding.

Including in being professional is to dress for the raise you are asking. If you are used to simple blouse and pants, up your style by dressing up another notch. It will add to your confidence as well and you will appear more serious.

3. Ask personally

Do not ask for a raise through email. It is best to deal with this in person. True it can be nerve-wracking but if you believe you deserve the raise, be more confident and try asking.

However, you can ask for an appointment through email or maybe through his assistant if any.

4. Don’t give out too much personal information

This applies to interviews as well. Giving out personal information like you need the money because you have debts to pay, is a no-no.

You will be taken upon as someone who lacks management skills (even if you are the exact opposite and you are a star employee) or has poor decision-making skills, so its best to keep information like this as private.

However, this rule is not made of stone. If you were politely asked, you can give a subtle hint on why you need the increase. There are employers who think that people who need the money tend to work better than those who don’t. Still, you don’t need to tell them the whole story.

Extra tips:

  • If the management agrees with your demands, be sure that this is put in writing. There are instances that the employee and employer have agreed, and then forgotten like nothing happened. A written document will help them remember it.
  • It’s also a red flag when the manager takes offence on questions related to the benefit package. If they are uncomfortable that you are trying to make a formulated decision by gathering data, then there is something wrong.
  • Hope for the best, but be prepared for the worst. If they don’t agree with your demand, don’t be disheartened. There are usually several factors before an increase gets approved, especially if you are working for a big company. They might also not have the budget right now or they don’t have enough flexibility.


So these are our top tips on how to negotiate for a higher salary, either on your current job or a potential employer. We hope for the best in your negotiations, and if you get your desired rate, don’t forget to include improving on your debt payments.

Can’t wait for negotiations and need help with debt now? Just call our numbers below or leave us a message!