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How to ask for a pay raise as a Software Developer

Hi everyone. In this post I'm going to help you ask for a pay raise. It's important to mention that, I'm writing this post based on my life experience but also considering what my tech bubble on twitter answered me (pt-br).

Best case scenario: the company approaches you

If you're working for a nice company that runs performance reviews every three or six month, they probably have a level system, this would be a way of getting a pay raise and or a promotion.

We know this is the best case scenario but we don't live in a pretty world, so we're going to see how we can approach the company and have a nice talk (asking for a raise shouldn't be as hard as appears to be).

How to approach your manager

This section contains some tips on how you can make a decent approach and ask for a pay raise.

Gather arguments

You need to see the big picture. Why are you asking for a pay raise? You should never go for a negotiation meeting unprepared.

Start by analysing yourself. Make a list of important things that you are doing in your job, e.g:

  • Are you participating in important deliveries in the company?
  • What goals did you help them achieve?
  • What kind of values you bring to the team?
  • How are you performing? (e.g: don't need much assistance from senior devs while working on a task)
  • Are you delivering more than you were when you joined the company/position?

This is important because it is a way of showing your manager that you are deeply involved. Some managers might forget how involved you are, this is a way of reminding them.

Gather feedback from your leaders (tech lead, team lead etc), if you're doing something wrong, they should help you with whatever you're going through. Having their support can help you when asking for a pay raise and you should definitely use these feedbacks in the negotiation.

Are any other companies trying to recruit you?

These offers may be a great way to go to another position, e.g moving from a mid-level to a senior position, and by doing this you will get a different salary. However, if you don't want to leave your actual company, you can see these offers from another point of view.

You should take the best of these offers. Mentioning them to your manager can help you but can also sound a bit rude. If you really want to stay in the company, this is a way of saying "Hey, I am ignoring these offers because I want to be right here.".

In the end is all about how you bring arguments to the negotiation. I don't think you should say "Hey, company X is offering me 2 times more than you guys pay me". You don't need to mention anything more than "I'm receiving offers".

However, if you mention this in the negotiation and the company, somehow, does not want to give you a compensation, you have a decision to make: stay and try again some other time (timing is important) or quit and look for another job.

The negotiation

Again, it's very important to be prepared for this part. Going blind for a negotiation will make you look bad.

A great way to start the conversation is mentioning the arguments you gathered earlier. Try mentioning big projects that you helped delivery.

Take the feedback from your direct leaders into consideration. Is important to say that you have their support.

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