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With prices rising steadily over the past year, many workers are looking for ways to boost their income. According to a recent survey from the staffing firm Robert Half, nearly 62 percent of workers said they plan to ask for a raise this year, with most of those respondents pointing to inflation as the reason.
The good news is companies may be more willing to negotiate salaries right now. Many employers are finding it difficult to hire as many workers as they need, which makes them eager to hold on to the workers they already have. In fact, workers who have kept their jobs in recent years have fared well. According to a survey from ADP, workers who stayed with the same employer in 2021 saw their salaries rise by an average of 5.9 percent.
While the overall circumstances make it a good time to ask for a raise, you still need a strategy if you want to be successful. Moshe Cohen, a senior lecturer who teaches negotiating at the Boston University Questrom School of Business, offers the following advice specifically for older adults.
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Practice, practice, practice
Before you meet with your boss, have practice conversations with a friend or family member. These discussions will help you identify the best reasons your employer should boost your salary. Just as importantly, the conversations can help you manage your emotions when you have the discussion with your supervisor.
“If you are an older worker and you feel less secure about your position within the company, then that can exacerbate your fears and effectively shut you down as a negotiator,” says Cohen, who also has written the book Collywobbles: How to Negotiate When Negotiating Makes You Nervous.
“If you can be aware of what you’re afraid might happen, it gives you some tools for managing that fear when you are negotiating,” Cohen says. “Find a friend or family member and have a conversation with them.”
Do your research
Once you’ve worked through any nerves you might have, you need to identify how a large a raise would be reasonable.