Negotiating a raise
How to supercharge your lifetime earning potential
by Josh Doody
Every career is a story, but your story will be different. Why? Because you’ll take advantage of these five ways to get a raise.
I realize this is counterintuitive because a raise is a raise, right? But if you think of “a raise” as “increasing your salary” or—even better—”increasing your lifetime earning potential”, then there are several more ways to get a raise than you may have considered before.
The best part? You can use these five ways to get a raise over and over again throughout your career! So once you know how to take advantage of them, you can do the same thing over and over again and make more money every time.
The first way to get a raise is unusual because you’ll take advantage of it by not doing something that could cost you a lot of money.
Eary in the interview process, sometimes before you even start interviewing, you’ll often be asked for your current or expected salary. Here’s how you might be asked:
“So where are you right now in terms of compensation, and what are you hoping for if you make this move?”
Sound familiar? I bet it does.
Don’t disclose your current or expected salary in a negotiation and you’ll significantly increase your lifetime earning potential. Every time you get a new job, you’ll give yourself the best chance for the highest salary the company will pay.
If you do well in your job interviews, you’ll get a job offer. The second way to get a raise is to negotiate starting salary when you receive a job offer. If you negotiate starting salary, you’ll boost your lifetime earning potential. If you just accept the job offer, you’ll leave a lot of money on the table over the course of your career.
When you get a job offer, you should negotiate starting salary by countering 10% to 20% above the offer. If you do this, you’ll significant increase your lifetime earning potential.
Even if you counteroffer, you’re not done negotiating—there’s still another opportunity to get a raise before you finalize your compensation package!
They’ll usually come back to you with some sort of compromise—something less than your counter and more than their initial offer—to talk it over and finalize all the details. I call this The Final Discussion.
This is a chance for you to keep negotiating for more base salary and other benefits like extra vacation, a signing bonus, equity, or even a different work schedule. This is one last chance to increase your lifetime earning potential.
There are two great opportunities to get a raise and increase your lifetime earning potential at your current job.
Promotions usually come with a salary increase. But most people sit back and wait for promotions to come to them.
But you should actively pursue your next promotion, then your next one, and your next one so that you’re always moving forward. You’ll get more promotions and make more money that way.
Promotions are important because they usually move you into a different pay grade, and that means you have more room for a bigger salary, and it usually means you get a raise just for moving into that new pay range!
And last but not least, the way to get a raise that you probably already had in mind.
Just like promotions, most people sit back and wait for merit increases or market adjustments to be granted by HR instead of going after them.
You should actively pursue raises so that you’re always paid what you’re worth and recognized for all the value you add to your company. Periodically do market research so you know your market value, and keep track of all the new skills and experience you contribute to your company as you add more and more value. When your value exceeds your salary, it’s time to request a raise.
Let’s review the five ways to get a raise and supercharge your lifetime earning potential:
Take advantage of these five ways to get a raise and you’ll supercharge your lifetime earning potential by doing the work you’re already doing anyway.
I'm Josh Doody, a professional salary negotiation coach who helps Senior Software Engineers and Engineering Managers negotiate job offers from big tech companies. On average, Software Engineers and Engineering Managers improve their first-year compensation by $47,273 with my help.
Apply for a free 15-minute intro call to learn how I can help.