What not to say when asking for a raise, according to career experts

"Avoid comparing your achievements to that of your colleagues."


When asking for a raise, there are many aspects about yourself and your work that you should emphasize: your past accomplishments, future goals, and any research you've done about what your industry typically pays.

And there are some topics you might want to avoid talking about, career experts say. "Remember, the reason you deserve a raise isn't about your wants and needs," says Amanda Augustine, career expert for TopResume. "It should be about the value you bring to the company and the current market."

If you're preparing to ask for a raise, here's what not to say.

Don't bring up your co-workers

"Avoid comparing your achievements to that of your colleagues," says Angelina Darrisaw, a career coach and founder of C-Suite Coach. Their situation has nothing to do with your personal accomplishments or what you can add to the company.

Knowledge that a colleague at your level is earning a higher salary might change the conversation, Augustine says. "If you've learned that your colleagues who hold the same position as you are making considerably more money, you could campaign for pay equality," she says.

Still, this doesn't mean it's smart to bash your co-workers, she says: "Badmouthing your colleagues during the process is not going to win you any brownie points with your boss and could actually undermine your request for a salary increase."

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Video by Stephen Parkhurst

And don't bring up your personal expenses, either

"Never justify your request for a more competitive salary because you want to purchase a bigger home, upgrade your car, or cover the cost of your kid's braces," Augustine says.

Other experts agree. Changes in your personal life don't need to come up during a conversation about pay. "You should avoid talking about increased cost of living expenses or other shifts in your personal life," says Darrisaw.

Keep the discussion focused on your job performance. "Start the conversation off by recapping your responsibilities and highlighting some of the great work you've done lately," Augustine says. "Also, reiterate your commitment to the organization and its success."

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