How to Get a Pay Raise with 2 Sentences and Your Boss Smiling

how to negotiate a pay raise

Do you want a pay raise?

According to the recent survey done by, only 37% of people negotiate their salaries on a regular basis. A stunning 44% of the participant have never brought the subject of a raise during their performance review. More shockingly, almost 19% of the participant never perform a salary negotiation in their working life.

How can it be?

The reason is simple.


Salary negotiation is a scary process, which when handled wrongly can make you and the other party feels very uncomfortable.

In fact anything on the topic of money can make anyone feels uncomfortable.

We totally understand the feeling, but we have to tell you something very important:

“Not doing a salary negotiation can be much more scarier!”


Here is an simple example:

You are taking home $100,000 salary and your co-worker have successfully negotiates a pay raise of 7%. You co-worker is taking home $107,000.

Let’s assume that both of you are treated the same, with the same pay raise and promotion till the day you retire. 

At the day of your retirement, you will need to work 8 more years to be as wealthy as your colleague who have the initial 7% raise.

7% may not sounds like a lot of money now. But as times goes and the money compounds. It can become a huge sum at your retirement.

(You can check out how much you need to retire at this article by IB here: How much do you need to retire comfortably?)

So, you may be someone who just started work for 2 years, or an experienced professional who is an expert in your field. 

This is the time for you to learn how to negotiate for a higher salary.

Let’s dive into the magical 2 sentence!

Pay Raise in 2 Sentence

When you are asking for a raise or negotiating a job offer, you are more likely to succeed if you say these magical words:

“I would like to make $[insert amount].

What would it take for me to get there?”

“What! Is that it?”

You might be thinking, “How can it be possible that I can get a pay raise with just these 2 sentence?”

But you might be surprise at how easy you can get a pay raise if you know how to ask.

Here are the reasons why when phasing your question this way can actually help you get that pay raise, or salary which you truly deserve.


Open-Ended Question

Open-ended Question allows you and your boss to feel much more comfortable in the conversation. Asking a yes or no question will put you and your boss on the spot. If the answer is a ‘no’, probably you will feel disappointed and lost all motivation to work. You want to keep the conversation going. You don’t want the door for the negotiation to be closed on you.

Best negotiation outcome is not winning your opponent, but by finding a way where both of you are a winner.

By asking an open-ended question, you allow your boss to work together with you to help you to reach your goal of getting that raise. In this win-win situation, with your boss at your side of the negotiation table. You and your boss can work together to create an action plan towards that pay raise.

Show Confidence and Honesty

Confidence and honesty are both attractive trait that many employers are looking for in their employees.

The first sentence:

“I would like to make $[insert amount].

Shows that you have a goal you want to meet and is serious in meeting this goal.

More importantly, you are ready for a serious and honest conversation about your salary.

But before you state your desired salary, it is just as important for you to do your basic research to see what others are paid.

Your pay largely dependent on the following:

  • your experience
  • your skill-set
  • your position

You can check out the industrial average for others, who are in the same position and experience as you from online resources such as, and, just to name a few.

Knowing how much are you paid in compare with your peers, similar to your experience and position is important during any form of salary negotiation.

Willing To Work For It 

Willingness to work for your goal is what really makes your boss smile. You boss knows every employee wants a bigger paycheck at the end of each day. But only a few of them really deserves it. 

The second sentence:

“What will it take for me to get there?”

Basically, this tells your boss that you are not all about money. You are willing to take up extra responsibility and is willing to work hard to be successful in your role.

This way of phasing the question display humility.

And humility is a big part when  negotiating with your boss. Knowing getting that pay raise is not an entitlement, but is something you need to work hard to achieve, prove that you are different from others.

Your boss will then be much more willing to give you that raise that you deserve, or provide you with opportunities to show that you deserves that pay raise.

Instead of working alone to get that raise, you will have your boss at your side to guide you to that raise.

Final Thoughts

In a negotiation, you may not get your requested salary. It is all a part of the negotiation process. But when phasing your question in these 2 magical sentence.

“I would like to make $[insert amount].

What would it take for me to get there?”

This will surely boost your success in achieving that salary you wanted.

By using an open-ended question, you have places yourself into an excellent position to have an productive conversation with your employer.

Building a career is not easy. But with some of the best career tips you can use today, you can rest assure that you will be successful sooner than you think.

When preparing for a job search, learning about the interview tips and interview questions will probably the best way to increase your chances of success.

Let us guide you to walk this journey together with our next articles!

Join over 3,000+ achievers who are committed to achieve their goals! 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.