If you're looking for a salary bump, avoid discussing your personal finances with your boss when you make your case. It can be tempting to bring up ever-increasing housing prices child care costs, or even inflation -- but ultimately, your case should be based on your work and achievements, not personal needs.
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Get Rich Slowly's Kristin Wong reminds us that one of the reasons you might not be getting the raise you want is because you're calling attention to the wrong factors. Your boss may sympathise with your plight -- after all, everyone knows what its like to suddenly deal with higher child care costs, or a spouse that took a pay cut, or rising rent or food costs. It sucks, and there's no getting around it, but even if your boss understands, most companies won't give you more money based on personal needs any more -- not unless they really need to keep you (and even then, it's usually because they need your skills, not because they feel bad for your situation.)
Instead, highlight your skills, your value to the company, and your achievements. Stress your goals and the great things you want to do at the company if you can stay and receive the amount of money you need, and highlight your past successes. You can even mention your past mistakes and how well you've learned and rebounded from them:
Most of the time, talking about your finances isn't a good idea when negotiating. As reader Anne pointed out:
"My only issue is making it personal when you ask for a raise. I always counsel against that. EVERYONE suffers from inflation, rent raises, etc. Your reason for asking for more money should be because of your skills, commitment, hard work, or because you have been undervalued compared to market levels."
And most experts agree with Anne's comment. In a column for "U.S. News and World Report," career and money reporter Rebecca Thorman writes:
"Unfortunately, it doesn't matter if you can't pay your mortgage, need to save for your child's education or want a new car. Your compensation is based on the value you provide to your employer, not your finances. If you feel compelled to tell your sad story, don't. Make sure to leave the personal issues out. Instead, try describing the immense potential you have to bring value to the company."
This is another easy-as-pie tip for people who don't like to negotiate. In fact, it appeals to us the most, because it keeps things professional and practical rather than personal and emotional.
If you have a great rapport with your boss, then things may be different, but even their manager or whomever approves the budget for your department is ultimately going to make salary decisions based on your value to the team. Sadly, unexpected expenses or higher bills won't cut it. Worst case, if your company doesn't feel you being enough value to the table to help you deal with the added expenses, it might be time to look for a side gig, or another job. Hit the link below for more salary negotiation tips.
How to Negotiate when You Hate Negotiating [Get Rich Slowly]