Best way to negotiate a large raise?
September 9, 2008 8:23 PM   Subscribe

How can I smartly/safely negotiate a substantial promotion and raise?

I signed onto my current position at a salary in the mid-50s. I definitely undersold myself, but I came from a technical position in a non-technical field and didn't have a very high base to negotiate from. After some staff turnover in the last year, I've informally taken on a much more senior position running the team I was hired into.

Now I would like to renegotiate and make that position official. I spoke with several past employees who held this senior position and their salaries were $40k to $60k higher than what I am making. I've got the chops to be in that range: 8 years of experience, some fairly significant contributions to this company, and a hell of a lot of hours spent in the office. But I am worried that they'll balk at such a sudden increase, even if it's part of a promotion.

Any strategies or advice? Is it wiser to start high and negotiate down, or should I be wary of asking for too much initially and sounding like I'm just fishing?
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (6 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
The Safest way for you to do this probably to look for another job, first. Then let your current job make an offer. There is still an element of risk in that you might be walking away from your current job but the salary is probably guaranteed.
posted by Rubbstone at 8:40 PM on September 9, 2008

You aren't going to be negotiating anything besides "yes or no" when you're talking about doubling your salary. Have another job in the wings.
posted by rhizome at 9:47 PM on September 9, 2008

Broken record here. Find another job and negotiate against that. Be prepared to switch.

If you are willing to stay at the old company for less than what you think you deserve, then make the pitch based on experience and others who previously had the same title. If you can get them to agree on the title first, it will be easier to then say now pay me what that title had made. Or close. Please.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 10:07 PM on September 9, 2008

The difficulty is, you really need to be prepared to walk. and if you are prepared to walk, why not just walk.

If you really want to stay, you need to renegotiate your position. Either offer to do more, or take on more responsibility, save them money or show them that you are undervalued.
posted by matholio at 10:48 PM on September 9, 2008

You might not get that full $60k more if you lack say an MBA. What matters here is your title, not your salary. Will another company believe your current self-evaluation?
posted by jeffburdges at 6:55 AM on September 10, 2008

You need a new job, but upthread posters miss that this new job could be *at the same company* or at a different company. You won't double your salary in your same position / role / job. So you need to move up the chain and have your salary negotiations with the higher ups at your company so that they can determine (i.e., you can convince them) that you've grown into a completely new role at the company. And now you want to officially move into that position.

You don't have to leave to get this job. But you definitely can't just bring this kind of request to your manager. You are asking (fundamentally) to move up to be a peer of your current manager. So you have to handle it as such.
posted by zpousman at 7:50 AM on September 10, 2008

« Older Before I buy a new stand mixer...   |   Why is South Africa abbreviated as ZA? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.