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How To Negotiate a Promotion Salary: In 10 Effective Steps

Negotiating a promotion salary can be a bit daunting. Here’s how to successfully negotiate your salary without rocking the boat.

By Fellow.app  •   August 5, 2022  •   7 min read

You recently earned a promotion – congrats! Clearly, your hard work, initiative, and dedication have paid off. But before you begin your thank you speech and pop the champagne, you should be sure you’re getting the most out of your promotion. If you’re not sure whether you’re getting a salary increase with your promotion, now is the time to ask for one. Read on to discover how to negotiate a promotion salary in 10 steps. 

10 steps to negotiating a promotion salary 

Negotiating is never easy, especially when you want the position regardless of the salary involved. However, to make certain that your new role is worth your time and effort, you might want to follow these 10 steps when it comes time to negotiate your salary. 

1Do your research 

If you’re going to negotiate a salary increase, it’s important to know the average salary that people in your position, or within your industry, get paid. There are a few ways you can figure that out.

One way is to ask your mentors or team members for advice, but you’ll have to do so carefully. Your co-workers might not want to share their exact salaries with you in case a big discrepancy comes up – that can lead to workplace conflict. Obviously, nobody wants that, so ask for a salary range and some helpful tips instead of an exact number. 

Another way is to search for salary information online. Some websites offer average salaries, while others allow you to figure out what’s likely for you based on your experience. You could also look up similar job titles and see what other organizations are offering in their job descriptions on hiring sites. 

Once you figure out what salary to expect, you can bring that to your negotiations. A few additional factors, though, could play into your salary – the organization’s revenue, how long the company has been around for, your professional background, and more. 

Successfully negotiate a promotion salary

Collaborate on a meeting agenda that inspires a thoughtful two-sided conversation to successfully negotiate a promotion salary. Try Fellow for free!

2Know your worth

If you believe you deserve a higher salary along with your promotion, you’ll need to show why that’s the case. For example, let’s say you asked for your promotion rather than being given one. In that case, your manager may see the new position as a way to keep you satisfied without increasing your pay. However, with a higher position comes more opportunities and potentially more working hours, which you can use as factors in your salary negotiation. 

It’s also important to mention all the work you’ve done and the value you add to the organization. Use percentages and data to push your case one step closer to the salary increase you know you deserve. 

3Keep an open mind

During the negotiation process, you should keep an open mind and a level head. That’s because, in some cases, your organization might not be able to give you the salary you want. For example, your department might not have any room in its budget to give you a raise. If this is the case, you can try negotiating other parts of your work life. That could mean asking for a more flexible work schedule or getting more paid time off. 

4Track your accomplishments

Look back at your first day in the office, and think about everything you’ve achieved since then. What specifically have you done to benefit your organization? Have you exceeded your monthly sales goals time and again? Have you brought in more clients than anyone in your department? Either way, you should write this all down to use as negotiation tools. The more examples and data you can provide, the stronger a case you can make for a raise. 

5Think and plan ahead 

If you wind up unable to negotiate a raise, you should still discuss when the next opportunity could be. If the organization’s budget doesn’t currently allow for a raise, ask your manager for a date when you can talk about this all again. You might also want to book a meeting on that date too to be sure the conversation will actually happen. 

You can also ask your manager what expectations you need to meet to get a raise. They should give you achievable goals that you can meet within a certain time frame. Or you can work with them to set SMART goals that will lead to a raise once you get them done. This method for getting your raise goes hand in hand with scheduling regular performance reviews so your manager can see that you’re taking the steps.

6Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want

It’s always a nice gesture for a manager to give you a promotion. That said, a promotion alone might only be the start of what you really deserve. Since a promotion often comes with more responsibility, you can reasonably ask for a higher salary. So if your manager hasn’t offered you a raise, go ahead and ask for it, even if that feels a little uncomfortable or intimidating. 

The good news for you here is that, in recent years, HR teams have been highly focused on employee retention. That’s basically a fancy way of saying that organizations will often do what they must to keep their teams happy. This gives you a great backdrop for asking for exactly what you want. 

7Be prepared to come with a backup plan

There’s a chance your initial plan might not work out, so you might be best off thinking up a backup plan. This plan could be to accept a smaller raise but ask for more time off in return. Or it could be asking for a hybrid work schedule to make up for not receiving a salary promotion. Write a few options down and present them to your manager until you both reach an agreement. 

8Be both flexible and firm 

Being offered a higher position in a company clearly shows that you’re doing something right – it’s a reason to celebrate! But you can both be grateful for this new opportunity and want a higher salary to match it. After all, you have put in a lot of work to receive this promotion. But, to quote that one song we’ve all heard, you can’t always get what you want.

This means you should be okay with accepting something other than what you imagined. You can be firm with the salary you want, but be flexible if you don’t get it. After all, a lot of factors go into a salary change, and sometimes, you might not receive a raise the moment you ask for it. 

9Continue working toward your goals

A higher position and salary isn’t just a one-time thing – you can receive promotions many times throughout your career. Consider your promotion the start of your career path, and keep updating your manager about your goals and progress. 

You can set up weekly or monthly one-on-one meetings with your manager to go over your progress and ask for advice and input. These recurring meetings will show your manager that you have the drive and initiative to move even further up your organization ladder one day. And when that day comes, you might get your raise.

10Acknowledge that a promotion is good, even without a raise

Even if you didn’t receive a raise, be proud of the position you’re in now! Your peers, manager, and HR department are clearly noticing and rewarding your work ethic, so give yourself a pat on the back. And stay positive – often, good things come with time, so maybe you’ll receive the salary you want sooner than you think. 


We know that these types of conversations can be tough, try one of these templates for your 1-on-1 meetings to get the conversation started!

Why should you negotiate a promotion salary? 

It can be difficult to ask for more money while expressing gratitude for your new role. You might think, Does asking for money mean I’m not grateful for what I’ve been given? However, everyone has the right to negotiate a salary, and a promotion is the best time to do so.

Your manager is likely aware that other organizations could offer you a higher salary for the same position. That’s huge leverage for you – with your promotion, you know you’re good enough to be hired elsewhere. A negotiation could make your manager realize that there’s a chance you won’t accept the promotion without a raise. 

If you don’t accept your promotion and you instead leave your job, your organization will have to hire and train someone new. That would cost them more time and money than just increasing your salary. So set that one-on-one meeting with your senior leadership and ask for that raise with your promotion – you just might get it. 

Schedule your next one-on-one meeting with Fellow 

Getting a promotion is a huge stepping stone for your career path. But when you’re not sure whether it comes with a raise, it’s time to sit down with your manager and productively hash it out. With Fellow, you can plan, run, and follow through on this meeting all from the same platform. It’s a great way to start your salary negotiations on the right foot. 

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