Talking about a Salary rise – but how?

You think you deserve a salary increase? But you don't know how to tell your boss about it? Here's how to prepare for your negotiation meeting.

"Hey boss, I need more money" - that's how bluntly the hero of Gunter Gabriel's 1974 hit of the same name demanded a salary increase. If you do the same, you will hardly convince your boss. Rely on our tips instead.

Putting together the Right Arguments

You know the reasons why you deserve more pay. However, there are good and bad arguments in the negotiation. The good ones include

  • Your achievements
  • Your contributions to success
  • Your value to the team
  • the responsibility you carry
  • your training
  • your goals for the company
  • the economic development of the company

Weak arguments, on the other hand, are

  • comparison with colleagues at work
  • pointing out the lack of salary increases in recent years
  • Your stress
  • your private economic or family situation

These points usually lead nowhere, because managers are most likely to negotiate if you emphasise your personal value for the company.

Prepare Well for Your Salary Negotiations

  • Find out your market value – what do others in the same sector, in the same company, in the same position earn?
  • What exactly do you want to ask for and where is your tolerance level? Think in advance: Would you be satisfied with alternatives to a salary increase, for example a mobile phone or further training? You decide this for yourself, but do not communicate it in the interview.
  • On 1 to 3 pages summarise your achievements, for example:
    • clients acquired
    • successful projects
    • improvements achieved in processes
    • cost savings achieved
    • recognition from clients or within the company
    • further training
    • goals you want to achieve
    • how the company will benefit from you in the future.
  • Choose the right time, e.g. use the annual appraisal interview or make a separate appointment. Suitable times for a salary review are:
    • after a successful probationary period
    • at the time of a promotion
    • in the event of a transfer
    • when a new employment contract is signed
    • shortly before the completion of a successful project

Salary talks should take place no more than once a year.

We have given you examples of good and bad arguments at the beginning. Choose the ones that suit you and think about what objections your manager might have.

Practice the interview with someone. This will help you to gain confidence in your preparation and reduce nervousness.


Hansjörg Schmid

Hansjörg Schmid

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