Tips and tricks for salary negotiations


Price shock, inflation hammer, price madness

- these or similar headlines have been haunting the headlines in Germany for a while now. As a result of the recent armed conflict within Europe in Ukraine and rising energy prices, the inflation rate in Germany climbed to an all-time high of 7.3% in March 2022.


Now a corresponding plus on the pay slip would be good. But how do you tell your boss that you want more pay and what's the best way to negotiate - how much more can you ask for?


It is clear that, as with many things in life, there is no guarantee of success. However, one aspect increases the chances enormously: the right timing. If you want more money, you should wait for the right moment.


The best opportunities for salary negotiations are:

- End of the probationary period: At the end of the probationary period, you have proven that you can do the job and are up to the requirements. A small salary increase could therefore be on the cards.


- Employee appraisals: After a year, at the "annual appraisal", employees and managers take stock of their performance, target achievement and future projects. Those who do well here have a strong case for a salary increase.


- With the promotion: You don't get a higher position for no reason, but because you have already proven yourself. If you take on more responsibility in a higher position, you can also be remunerated accordingly.


- In the event of a transfer: If employees are given new tasks internally or change departments, this is the right time to talk about a higher salary.


- If the employment contract is made permanent: You previously had a fixed-term employment contract. This is converted into a permanent contract, usually for positive reasons. These also speak in favor of a salary increase.


- With a new fixed-term employment contract: 

Anyone who receives a second, fixed-term employment contract should always renegotiate their salary and demand more money.


- New job: The classic situation: you start a new job at a company and enter into contract negotiations. In this case, it is completely normal for you to ask for a higher salary than before when you start. 


- Completion of a project: If you ask for a salary increase shortly before the completion of a successful project, you have a particularly good chance of having your request granted. This is because you still need them to achieve the goal, but success is already within your grasp.


If the timing is right, you can confidently go into negotiations with a demand for a ten percent salary increase. However, it is realistic to expect an increase of three to seven percent at the end of the negotiations for an existing employment relationship without an extended range of tasks.


However, more should be possible in the event of a promotion, a transfer or a permanent position. If you take on more responsibility, you can ask for a significant increase of ten to fifteen percent.


And finally, every request for a salary increase also needs good reasons. The more specific the better. Examples are 

- The employee takes on additional tasks that are not provided for in the employment contract. 


- Since the last salary increase, the employee has once again significantly increased his performance.


- Additional qualifications have been acquired that are useful to the company.


- Targets are always achieved or even exceeded.


- The employee has helped to save costs.


But be careful:

It is not advisable to justify the desire for a higher salary with the rising inflation rate. Most employers will immediately counter with the popular counter-argument of the "wage-price spiral". If wages rise, production costs will also rise and then the already high prices will rise even faster - so the argument goes. It is therefore better to only put individual reasons on the negotiating table.


If, despite perfect timing and good arguments, you are unable to convince your employer to give you a pay rise, there are attractive alternatives: An increase in vacation entitlement or an allowance for travel expenses can also take a lot of pressure off your wallet and make you a little more relaxed about rising prices. 


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