How to Ask for Your Next Big Raise

January 18, 2018, 11:30 AM UTC

Even if you love your employer and want to stay put, you may still be able to use today’s hot job market to increase your pay. Advice from employment experts:

➜ Remember your negotiating advantage in today’s environment: that replacing you will be difficult and expensive. But … don’t explicitly threaten to leave unless you’ve got a great offer in your pocket and are prepared to go. Be confident—but not aggressive: While your boss may reluctantly beat the competing offer, your relationship may be forever poisoned. Promotions and leadership development opportunities may evaporate in the end.

➜ Arm yourself. Document the achievements that you believe merit greater pay, or show that you’ve successfully taken on greater responsibilities. Also research the going rate for your job in your location. Check the annual Robert Half Salary Guides by industry or use market pay calculators at,,,, and other sites, all available free.

➜ When scheduling the meeting with your boss, make clear that you’ll want to discuss pay.

➜ After making your case, ask for a specific dollar amount or percentage increase.

➜ If the answer is no, think of what else you’d like besides money—more vacation, more training, more flexibility in where and when you work. And ask what it would take to turn the no into a yes in, say, six months.

A version of this post appears as a sidebar in the article “How to Profit From the Ultra-Tight Job Market Right Now” from the Feb. 1, 2018 issue of Fortune.