An Expert’s Guide to Getting a Raise and Your Dream Salary

Our month long look at Tackling the Money Question continues.

Our very own Ari Aronson has already shared his advice on the important subject of how to best wrestle with money talk when it comes to your career. But we decided there’s no such thing as too much advice.

We spoke to a few other HR experts with extensive expertise to see what other little nuggets of wisdom they could offer. Here then are three key pointers about asking and getting a raise, as well as negotiating a new job salary, from three experts who know what works.

Dana Peever: When Asking for a Raise, Know Your Company’s Raise Policy and Prepare Your Career Highlights
“If I was coaching an employee who felt they were ready for a raise, the first thing I’d suggest is find out as much information as they can they can about their companies raise policy. Is it only something that they would do throughout the year or once a year at performance review time? It’s good to understand what the lay of the land is, because some corporations have protocols.

The second thing I’d suggest is they go in with a copy of their job description, or at least a layout of what their expectations are in their role. They should have prepared highlights of their career and what would enable a manager to go to his boss and say ‘Hey, this person went above and beyond in this case and this case.’ Make sure they go in with concrete proof, examples, highlights and say ‘This is what I’ve done, and this is why I feel l deserve a raise at this point and time.’ Finally, make sure they go in knowing what dollar amount or percentage they’re actually looking for. “

A 20-year veteran in Human Resources, Dana Peever is a Certified Life Coach who focuses on helping people make tough career and life decisions. She can be found on Twitter, and at her website,

Tina Galanos: Answer, Don’t Evade, the “What Are Your Salary Expectations?” Question
“When I ask the question, I am looking for an answer. I understand the fear factor in laying out the cards early on, but completely avoiding answering that question and taking a more evasive approach in the early stages isn’t good. It’s not genuine. Now, I’ve had people come out and say ‘I’m worried about telling you a number because it can be a little too low and then I’m not giving you what my true value would be. Or I give you a number and then you’ll exclude me.’  That to me is still genuine. You’re interviewing. You’re nervous. It is human emotion. I totally get it.

I usually come back and say. ‘I’m just looking to have a conversation around this.’ If we’re talking rationally, no one is going to be eliminated based on that one ‘What would be your minimum expectations?’ answer. My advice would be just be frank with it. Just say ‘I’m a little wary, so are you married to this number if I give you this number? Is there room for negotiation?’ It’s all about honesty and transparency. And in terms of that number, if all things are treated equally there’s a value that you would leave your current employer for right now. As a recruiter, that’s what I’m looking for. What would you leave your position for?

Tina Galanos is a Recruitment Manager at Deloitte who has over ten years of recruitment experience in both agency and corporate environments.

Jane Varghese: Make Your Salary Expectations Flexible and Understand the Achievements That Deserve You a Raise
“When it comes to tackling the ‘What are your salary expectations?’ question, showing confidence in what you feel you’re worth is important, but so is showing flexibility. And that’s where a range comes in. Give a range that’s comfortable. And I would always go in asking for probably more than what you currently earn. Because you don’t want to just make a lateral move. If it is a lateral move and you want more, you have to kind of show what you can bring to the table that maybe that company doesn’t have at the moment.

In terms of asking for a raise, it’s about knowing you’re worth in terms of what you’ve contributed to the organization. You need to understand what you’re achievements have been and the level that you’re at. You also need to understand the process of an organization in terms of merit increases and out of cycle increases. For example, you may want to ask for a raise when they’re evaluating you, because that’s a good time when they get approvals easier than, say, halfway through the year. And it’s important to actually talk about all this. To be honest, if you truly believe that you’re not being compensated properly, then you do have to have that conversation. Because otherwise you’re going to be having it with another employer, and why not have that conversation with the employer you’re currently with?”

Jane Varghese is a Human Resources Executive with over 20 years of recruitment, management, and consulting experience.