FYI: Here’s How To Successfully Negotiate A Raise To Help With Inflation

With skyrocketing inflation rates, it’s probably time to ask for a raise

(Fast Company) With 8.6% inflation—a 40-year high—many people are feeling the pinch in their wallets as the cost of food, gas, and rent rise. If you haven’t received a raise in the past year, it may be time to negotiate a higher salary. Inflation is a great negotiation tool because it’s an objective standard, says Andres Lares, managing partner at Shapiro Negotiations Institute, negotiation consulting firm.

Ben Cook, CEO of the salary negotiation consulting firm Riva, tells his clients, “If you didn’t get an 8% pay raise this year, you got a pay cut.” “Assuming you didn’t do so poorly that you deserve a pay cut, it’s time to ask for a raise,” he says.

But it’s easier said than done for most people. Asking for a raise feels like a confrontation, says Cook. “Most people don’t like confrontation,” he says. “The cost of not negotiating is hard to visualize. It doesn’t feel like someone taking money away from you, but it’s money that you don’t earn. It is, in fact, the same thing.”

Cook says many people leave jobs unnecessarily because they didn’t give their current employer a chance to improve their compensation. Instead of avoiding an uncomfortable conversation, consider these strategies that can make the situation easier.


The first step is to prepare. It helps to write out a script. The goal isn’t to read it word for word; it’s to get the key points firmly in your mind, says Lares.

“The conversation is emotional and can quickly get derailed,” he says. “Manage the emotion by knowing and practicing what you’re going to say. By the time you get to the actual meeting, it will feel like you already had the conversation, making you a lot more confident. It is perhaps one of the most powerful aspects of negotiating people overlook.”


Inflation is a great excuse to have the conversation. Lares suggests starting by saying, “I want to chat with you about a raise. Inflation has happened over the last year.”

But the entire conversation should not be around purely inflation: “It still comes down to do they want to keep you,” says Lares. “While they’re paying you partly to make up for inflation, it’s also because they think you’re going to be a productive member of the team moving forward. Be very clear about that.”


Have as many objectives points as possible when you ask for a raise. Instead of just blaming inflation, get real numbers. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics calculator can show how higher prices are impacting your wallet. For example, $150,000 in May 2021 now has buying power of $138,145.

“Tell your boss, ‘I’m essentially making $12,000 less right now than last year,’” says Lares. “This demonstrates to other party that you thought it through.”

Also, come in with statistics that communicate your value to the company. For example, make the point that you generated $X in new business, had 100% employee retention in your department, acquired X number of new clients, or filed X number of billable hours.

“The more specific you are, the more confidence and conviction that relays, which is really important,” says Lares.

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