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Part 1: How to negotiate a raise.

Part 1: How to negotiate a raise.

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September 19, 2023

3 min read

What's Playbook? We're your friendly guide to paying less in taxes (legally!) and putting your money in the right places automatically. Money stuff can feel hard, but we’re here to help along the way.

Key takeaways:
  1. Start the conversation 6-8 weeks in advance.
  2. Know your BATNA
  3. Understand your levers

In this article

      Welcome to part 1 of our 3-part series: The Great Resignation. What's the Great Resignation, you ask? Americans are quitting their jobs way more than usual. In November 2021 alone, over 4.5 million people left their jobs. That's about 30% higher than pre-pandemic times.

      And no, it's not to spend more time playing Wordle. With an abundance of 'help wanted' signs out there, it's a rare opportunity to demand better pay and workplace conditions.

      Before you join the ranks of resignators (it's not a real word, but it is an Australian ska band), here are some tips for negotiating the best possible salary in your current job.

      The second best thing you can do for your savings is, naturally, to save more money. The first best thing? Increase your top line. With that in mind...

      3 steps to negotiate your raise —

      1. Start the conversation 6-8 weeks in advance.

      "You can't just randomly wake up on a Tuesday and say, now it's time."

      About 6-8 weeks before the official "ask", start the conversation. "What do I need to do for you to be willing to promote me?" It's an unofficial contract with your boss — if you follow through on your end of the deal, they should follow through on theirs.

      2. Know your BATNA

      It stands for 'Best Alternative To a Negotiated Agreement'. Take some time to consider your ideal salary, the best possible outcome, and the lowest amount you'd accept. Your best option is to have another job offer at higher terms. If you don't have another offer, come prepared with what you could be getting if you left your job.

      Ask trusted people, within your company or outside it, to better understand your fair market value. Remember: it's federally prohibited for employers to stop their employees from discussing pay.

      3. Understand your levers

      Your salary is just one slice of the pie. Consider all the other levers you could pull: equity, bonus, vacation days, remote work, commuter benefits, reimbursements.

      What other levers would improve your happiness at work? Consider how they fit into your BATNA and include them in your negotiations. Get creative! Between you and me, my last employer once gave me one of these wearable duvets.    

      The Playbook take

      This is exciting stuff! You're laying the groundwork for greater fulfillment at work and a big boost to your future net worth.

      At the end of the day, negotiation isn't about body language, unsettling eye contact, or tight handshakes. It's about being prepared. If you come to the table with a well-researched "ask" in mind, you'll overflow with confidence.

      We're rooting for you. And if you're ready to jump on the Great Resignation train, stay tuned for Part 2! We'll be back with the most important considerations when looking for a new job.

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      In this article