For context, I'm in France.

It's been now more than a year that I'm employed by this company, and more than 2 years that I'm at my current position (I was hired as a temp through an interim agency for a year before having the position offered to me). In those 2 years I have acquired some skills and as a result I'm tackling more important project than before. My duties have not changed, only the importance and complexity of the projects I'm assigned to.

My annual review is coming up in approx a month, it's the only time we are allowed to talk about individual raises, and I want to negotiate a small raise, to at least try to keep up with inflation, and ideally something around 5% total.

It has been announced in a email that our company will provide a 1% global raise and have another 1% of current salaries as a budget for individual raises globally. I do NOT know what budget my manager got for our dept raise, only that he got SOME budget, but obviously if I ask for a 4% raise, it'll surely means that I'll eat most of the budget, given what the company allocated for global individual raises.

I've read alot here on how to negotiate a raise, but my situation makes almost all of the advice is not applicable, as, no matter what, i don't want to leave this job, due to the terrific perks I have compared to other companies. Not even a 30% raise at another company would make me quit this job. My manager only knows that I'm comfortable with my job, not that I'm deadset on NOT leaving.

Knowing all of this, I'm really scared to ask for any raise at all, not even speaking of a 4% one. I know the salary of my colleagues, and i'm the one who earns the least (next colleague earn 10% more than me for basically the same job and responsibilities as me), but i'm also the youngest of the whole dept and the one with the least time at my company.

How should I approach my review concerning this topic? From what I've heard from my manager not long ago, I've hit every point listed in my previous review, with all metrics going up in my case, so I know it'll be a positive one.

  • I am not sure about France but here in the USA large companies often give 3% to 5% yearly raises based on performance. That said maybe you could start exploring other jobs and if you get an offer (that you are not going to take) you can use that to incentivize a raise at your current company. If you know your manager well are are on good terms I would not be afraid to ask. The worst that should happen is they say no. But I highly doubt they will fire your for asking. Especially if your work is as productive as you have said. Feb 19, 2020 at 16:32
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    Does this answer your question? How should I properly approach my boss if I'm feeling underpaid?
    – gnat
    Feb 19, 2020 at 16:48
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    @SierraMountainTech In the US, inflation runs at around 2.5%, so I wouldn't really call a 3% raise for performance a "raise"
    – Mars
    Feb 20, 2020 at 3:04
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    @gnat It does not, as i'm not really feeling underpaid, it's more of a "a raise would be nice and if i can take it, i don't wanna leave money on the table" kind of situation. Feb 20, 2020 at 8:05
  • @SierraMountainTech here in France raises are very rares and aside a mandatory 1% by law, generally only happens when you either move to another position at the company or get a job at a different company. Feb 20, 2020 at 8:06

2 Answers 2


Not being prepared to leave certainly removes arguably the biggest leverage that employee's have in salary negotiations, and for what it's worth never make that threat unless you're prepared to follow through on it. That's not quite the same thing as declining to remove any doubts they might have about whether you would leave or go.

Raises to retain people who would otherwise leave is only one reason to give them though - keeping your productive workers happy (and therefore productive) is important too. Employee's who are dissastisfied don't always leave, sometimes they just stop giving quite 100% and if you get enough of them doing that it all adds up.

What's good though is that you've worked out some figures that you're aiming for and it sounds like you've got a decent idea of the sort of things you can say to evidence that you're worth it - more difficult and more crucially more important projects increases your business value. So be prepared - do in with a list of things you've done lately where you've knocked it out of the park.

Additionally it's not a bad idea to argue for what you think you should get rather than what you think they can afford - that way if you are successful in convincing them that you are worth more than they can afford it helps bump you up the priority list next time budgets for raises are being determined!

next colleague earn 10% more than me for basically the same job and responsabilities as me

While it's not good IMO to go in with "you pay [coworker] 10% more than me so I should get that too" what you can do is use any KPIs you're aware of where you know compare favorably to coworkers (who you know earn more than you) because that gets them thinking in comparative terms for you - if the boss is weighing who to give that spare 1k a year they have left in the budget then it might just tip the balance. Just be careful to avoid bad-mouthing, keep the comparisons positive, e.g:

I measure myself by how many tickets I close/sprint points I do/widgets I sell compared to [coworker] and I know I've been slightly above them the last few months so I think I'm doing pretty well there!

You're basically saying "hey [coworker] is good at X and I'm beating them so I must be better by" while still looking like a team player.


How should I approach my review concerning this topic?

Firstly, don't be scared of starting a salary raise negotiation with your manager. Asking for a 5-10% salary increase is not rude or out of place, so there's no reason to be scared. If they take your request as "disrespectful", well, maybe after all your workplace is not so amazing, despite all the terrific perks, and it will be up to you to put on the scale the salary vs the perks. But again, I doubt they will be offended by it.

When negotiating your salary increase, explain and justify why you consider you deserve a salary increase. Focus a lot on your achievements, and not on comparing yourself to others because you don't know many things about your colleagues and their overall packages. You can also compare your salary to market rates.

Make sure you mention how much you expect to get (not how much is on your manager's budget, that's for your manager to worry about, not you). If you are happy with 5%, maybe ask for 10% and then negotiate from there.

Don't mention you don't want to leave at all. Keep that to yourself as part of the negotiation tactic.

Last, but not least.

it's the only time we are allowed to talk about individual raises

You're allowed to raise this anytime you think it's appropriate with your manager. I know this is not your case, but if you were to go for a "raise or leave" approach and they wanted you to stay, they wouldn't tell you to wait until the next salary review. They normally say this to keep employees quiet.

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