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Negotiating a raise is difficult and awkward, but can, unfortunately, be a necessary part of developing your career in the creative industries. While most people would like to get paid more for what they do, very few people actually enjoy the process of asking for an increase in their salary. It’s easy to understand why nobody really likes negotiating a raise, as there’s a lot of factors to consider beforehand, and seemingly a lot of ways that a simple request could be refused. If you’re feeling like it’s time to negotiate a raise at your current job, take few deep breathes, relax, and then dive on in!


Is it time to negotiate a raise?

Figuring out whether or not it’s the right time to request a raise is a tricky process; with several variables to consider. How long have you been working for your current employer, what’s the size of the business you work at, and what sort of shape is the company in financially, can all be factors that play into your decision.

  • The first order of business is that you’re going to want to be sure that you’re good at what you do. This might sound obvious, but take some time to reflect on your performance at the company. Approaching your boss or supervisor after a rough patch will probably do more harm than good.
  • Do your research beforehand and know what you’re worth. If you’re asking for a raise that vastly exceeds the norm for someone of your role or experience, it might be wise to scale it back. Being realistic with your request will demonstrate that you’ve put thought into what is a serious matter.


How to negotiate a raise?

Now that you’ve determined that you’re due for a reasonable raise, the real fun begins. There’s a lot of potentially uncomfortable situations that can arise from requesting a raise, so be sure to do your homework beforehand and then consider the following.

  • Construct a case for what you bring to the company, highlighting accomplishments, and make it clear that receiving a raise would be good for the business. Discussing your achievements in a professional manner is extremely important; you don’t want to sound like you’re bragging.
  • Timing plays a big factor when reinforcing your value to the company. Maybe you’ve just finished up a large project, or helped develop a particular initiative that’s been well-received across the company; regardless what it might be, having a recent accomplishment can help to give you greater negotiating power.
  • Don’t catch your boss off-guard with a request for a raise; instead, request a performance review or a similar meeting. Doing so will help to ensure that both parties are prepared for discussion, and odds are, will be more receptive to the points you raise.


What happens if they say no?

While we’re all for staying optimistic, there could be a host of reasons why your boss could turn down your request, so it’s important to have your response prepared as well. Depending on their response, asking if there are areas of your work you could improve upon, to get a position where they would be comfortable offering you a raise. Doing so can demonstrate initiative and an interest in self-improvement.

If you’re turned down, but not being given a reason why; consider doing some serious thinking as to whether or not the company you’re at is the right one for you. Luckily, if you’re interested in searching for a new job, you’ve come to the right place! Head on over to our job listings page to discover your next creative career!

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