#30: How to ask for a raise when your boss is a master negotiator.

Guest columnist Daniel Bessner helps us ask for a raise.

Writer and professor Daniel Bessner helps us ask for a raise.

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How do I ask for a raise if my boss's whole career is built on his negotiating prowess?

One of the most difficult things to try to do in professional life—and life in general—is negative: you have to try to not be intimidated by people who are in a more advanced position than you.

Furthermore, one of the most important things to learn is positive: that people oftentimes, if not always, overemphasize their particular skill in an area. Thus, while I have no doubt your boss is a good negotiator, you shouldn't let their skills prevent you from asking for a raise that you think you deserve.

The best way to ask for a raise differs according to industry. In academia, for instance, it's virtually impossible to get a raise unless you are given an offer by another university (or at least asked to interview at another university). So, first thing's first: you need to know the norms of your given company/profession/industry. And then, once you've learned those norms, you should probably try to abide by them, at least at first. 

But beyond that, the only way to get a raise is, of course, to ask for one. And before you do, you should take an honest stock of where you are in your life. For example, would you leave the job if you didn't get a raise? If so, then be honest and say that. If you wouldn't, then you necessarily have less leverage. Perhaps come up with a number that would make you ecstatic and a lower number that would be just ok, and try to get at least that lower number.

But in brief, the most important thing for you to do in this instance is to demystify your boss's "negotiating prowess"; I promise that at some point in their career and life, they've been out-negotiated.

So why not make that happen again?

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