How to Negotiate Your Salary at your CURRENT Job

You don't always have to jump from one job to another to earn what you're worth! Here's how to prepare and negotiate your salary at your current job.

Job Searching
10 min read
March 9, 2022
“Part of loving your job is earning what you’re worth.”
— WorkWell CoFounder, Lucy Basta

At WorkWell, we thrive off of helping job seekers find and land a career they’re happy in. 

However, not everyone needs to jump ship in order to find the happiness they’re after. 

Sometimes, being happier at work simply comes down to getting paid more.

As Workwell Co-Founder Lucy Basta says, “part of loving your job is earning what you’re worth!” 

In this blog, we’re going to discuss how to prepare for, and negotiate a higher salary in your current role and company. 

Let’s jump in!

1. Create a Brag Book

Our first recommendation is to create a brag book.

What is a brag book?

It’s exactly how it sounds! 

A book of jotted down “brags” or notes of what you have accomplished and achieved in your current role. 

Start by jotting down notes at the end of every week. 

Maybe you gave a great presentation to your team and you got great feedback on how it helped steer the direction of your project. 

Write it down! 

Or maybe you went above and beyond to help a coworker or client achieve their own goals. 

Write it down!

However small or ordinary a task may feel to you, it’s worth writing down if it made an impact on someone else. 

At the end of the year, you should have around 50 memorable moments to reflect on. 

When performance review time comes around, you’ll be able to provide specific examples of the impact you brought to the company and your teammates over the past year. 

2. Set Up a 1:1 Meeting

Whether you wait for your performance review, or ask for a 1:1 meeting during the year, the important thing is to be intentional.

Request a sit down meeting with your current boss and indicate the reason for the meeting.

Note: We don’t recommend negotiating your salary over email or phone. It’s too impersonal.

Share what you’ve achieved, and talk about how you drove positive change within your organization.

If you don’t have a brag book, take an afternoon to reflect on recent accomplishments and write them down beforehand.

Maybe you learned a new skill.

Or became competent in an area that you weren’t previously.

Reflect on how learning that skill positively impacted your team or company.

The more prepared you are with evidence and examples, the easier your reasoning will be.

3. Ask for a Specific Number

Now that you’ve prepared your brag book and reflected on past contributions to the organization, do your research.

Look into what others around you are earning (with the same role and experience), and use market research to come up with a specific amount that you would like to be paid.

We recommend asking for a specific salary that you would like to be paid, rather than a range.

Note: Co-Founder Lucy Basta says that if you’re coming in from another company, it’s okay to state a range. However, when negotiating within the same company, it’s better to state a solid number.

You can say, “Here’s what I’ve contributed.”

And, “here’s what others in my role with the same amount of experience are making.”

“I’d like for you to match my salary at X, taking into consideration my experience, contributions, and the market rate.”

4. Present Another Offer

If you’d like to bring in even more reinforcement to your salary negotiations - and you are genuinely prepared to leave - you can come to the meeting with another offer in hand.

In fact, this happened to one of our WorkWell clients recently.

She really liked her job but the pay just wasn’t enough.

She wrote to her WorkWell coach,

“I wouldn’t mind staying at my current employer. If they would match the offer, I would stay. I have just felt undervalued.”

We helped her prepare for a conversation with her boss in which she asked for a salary of $140,000, to match the offer she had received.

The conversation went something like this:
“I have been approached by another company for the same position, and they have offered me $140,000.
If you’re able to meet that, I’d really like to stay here because I enjoy this job and I enjoy you as my boss.”

And guess what? They were able to match it!

Remember that it costs companies tens of thousands of dollars in hiring and training expenses to replace good talent.

It’s a huge expense to a company.

So, while you might think a $10,000 increase sounds like a lot to ask for, in many cases, it’s the better business decision.

5. Leave It Open for Options

Sometimes, a company just simply cannot find it in their budget to pay you more. And that’s ok!

At that point, the ball is in your court to explore options elsewhere, or ask for additional benefits that will keep you happy enough to stay.

Perhaps they can offer you more PTO days or a retention bonus.

Or, maybe you can work one more day from home each week.

Explore what it is that would make you happier at your current role and ask if it’s an option.

Usually everything is negotiable, as long as you bring it up in a non-adversarial way.

You can hear how Co-Founder Lucy Basta would phrase a request of working from home over on our YouTube channel here.

6. Change Your Perspective!

It’s important to remember that a negotiation is simply a collaboration!

You’re not making a demand or starting an argument.

Bring a collaborative energy to the conversation - through your voice, intention, and tone - and ask with curiosity.

Approach the topic with genuine interest of how the negotiation can end beneficially for both parties.

Employers want teammates who are happy and nourished outside of work, so that they can bring their best selves into the office every day.

They won’t know how to fill your cup if you don’t ask.

Keep Us In the Loop! 

Here at WorkWell, we love hearing from you and your career successes. 

If any of these pointers resonated with you, email our coaches with your updates! 

We’d love to hear how our advice helped you succeed in earning what you’re worth. 

We all deserve to be paid for the value we bring to an organization. 

To get more help from a WorkWell coach, you can join one of our free events here, or sign up to learn more about our 4-week Job Search & Interview Skills Accelerator

Until next time!