Inflation is Hitting Record Highs — Use These 3 Salary Negotiation Phrases to Keep Up

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Laura Berlinsky-Schine2.3k
April 18, 2024 at 5:34PM UTC

In September 2021, consumer prices hit a year-over-year increase of 5.4%, the largest gain we’ve seen in almost 30 years, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported.

Salary increases, however, are not consistently keeping pace with inflation; according to The Conference Board, the median budgeted raise is just 3%, and it is projected to stay at 3% in the coming year. 

While it’s important to note that consumer price increases are largely concentrated to several key areas, such as energy and gasoline, this is still discouraging for workers. Many employers implement annual “cost of living” salary increases (this is not true across the board), and employees depend on these adjustments to continue to afford necessities. 

If the adjustments aren’t keeping pace with the soaring rate of inflation, workers are the ones who lose out.

As many businesses budget for the coming year, it’s natural to wonder what you, as an employee, should expect. Cost-of-living increases are separate from merit raises, but perhaps you deserve both. These three phrases can help you in your salary negotiations. 

1. “My value”

Value is what you have to offer your company. In other words, a valuable employee brings in money, directly or indirectly. If you can demonstrate that you have true value and are actively responsible for making the employer successful or more successful, you will have a leg up in salary negotiation. It’s even better if you can use concrete numbers, pointing to specific evidence of how your efforts have paid off. 

Of course, not everyone has the opportunity to back up their argument with numerical data attesting to their work. Still, attaching the word value to your justification can serve a purpose. You can almost certainly still find examples that show how you have been a valuable employee.

2. “Based on my research...”

Do your homework. This is a critical part of salary negotiations. You must be armed with facts that support a merit increase.

Look into industry standards for people with your level, credentials and skillset. Present these figures when you are discussing a raise with your employer. They should be quick to understand that someone with your qualifications can expect to earn this salary from similar employers — their competitors — and they certainly don’t want to lose you to another business if they value you and your work.

However, be careful about using threatening language. This can sour negotiations. Keep things friendly, but make it clear that you expect to earn what you deserve.

3. “Passionate”

Your excitement alone won’t earn you a salary increase. Still, employers do want employees who are in it for the long haul — people who are truly passionate about their work and the business itself. Onboarding and nurturing career development are investments for the company, and they want to see their efforts pay off through loyalty and retention.

Therefore, conveying that you’re passionate about the job in your salary negotiations can help you demonstrate that you are a worthwhile investment for your employer — someone who wants to stay and grow with the business. This will earn you goodwill and keep negotiations friendly. 

Whether you’ve received a new job offer or are continuing your tenure at a current employer, salary negotiations are a delicate business. Incorporating these phrases can help you earn what you deserve and keep things professional.

What's your no. 1 piece of salary negotiation advice? Share your answer in the comments to help other Fairygodboss'ers!

About the Career Expert:

 Laura Berlinsky-Schine is a freelance writer and editor based in Brooklyn with her demigod/lab mix Hercules. She specializes in education, technology and career development. She also writes satire and humor, which has appeared in Slackjaw, Points in Case, Little Old Lady Comedy, Jane Austen’s Wastebasket and The Haven.

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