Negotiating a pay raise:
Top 5 Mistakes to Avoid

You’ve been thinking about negotiating a pay raise. After all, you’ve been working very hard for a year. Perhaps it's been two or three years that you've been patiently waiting for someone to notice your great performance and give you a raise.

Granted, you have received a couple of salary adjustments here and there, but you don’t count those, since everybody got them and they were barely enough to cover a higher cost of living.

You want the real kind of salary raise, the one that only a few people get, based on performance. You've seen others getting raises and you know you deserve one yourself. You decide to approach your boss, so you ask for an appointment after some hesitation. What should I do? What mistakes should I avoid?

Here are the top 5 mistakes to avoid when negotiating a pay raise:

1. The 'I'll Wing it' Mistake.. This mistake consists of coming to the meeting with your boss unprepared to discuss your accomplishments and contributions to the organization. This is evident when you boss asks you to list the reasons why you deserve to get a raise and you can’t describe how your projects contributed to the mission and goals of the company.

2. The 'I Need the Money' Mistake. This is when you tell your boss how much you need the raise. This is when you think “hey, I just bought a house, I need more cash or I’ll have to look for another job” Keep in mind that balancing your budget is your responsibility, not the company’s.

3. The 'I'm Overdue for a Raise' Mistake. This mistake consists of highlighting the fact that you have not received a raise in a several years. Just doing your job for an extended period of time doesn't qualify you for a raise. Doing an outstanding job during the most recent rating period does.

4. The 'Without a Doubt I'm Getting a Raise' Mistake. Another mistake you may make when asking for a raise is to come unprepared for a possible denial of your request. There will be times when you don’t have a raise coming to you. The reasons may vary; it could be that the company is going through difficult times, or it could that your performance was less than stellar. Make sure you come prepared to handle a possible denial of your request. Click here for a related article on how to handle emotions

5. The 'Give me a Raise or I'll leave' Mistake. This mistake consists of letting your boss know that if you don't get the raise, you may be leaving for a better job. Even when you are prepared to follow through on your threat, keep in mind that people don't like ultimatums. Your boss may yield because he/she needs you now. If you feel that you must mention that you have another job offer, then do so. Just be truthful and diplomatic about it.

This list of mistakes to avoid shouldn't dissuade anyone from asking for a salary raise. Perhaps an even worse mistake one can make is to avoid negotiating a pay raise for fear of being turned down. I encourage you to follow through on your intention to ask for a raise. Just try to avoid the mistakes listed above and heed the following pointers.

Negotiating a Pay Raise the Right Way.

Approved Come to the meeting prepared to discuss your accomplishments and how you have contributed to the mission and goals of the organization.

Come with an open mind to discuss possible shortcomings that may be preventing you from getting a raise now. Ask what you need to do to get raises in the future.

Come prepared to negotiate a pay raise and get it.