Here is some good input from Selena Rezvani, a negotiation expert, on how to effectively get what you want when asking for a raise or vacation time:

Silence is one of the most under-used tactics in a negotiation. I’m talking about using this strategically. For example, being quiet right after you make your request, and being quiet again for a few seconds when you get your answer.

She also answered a few reader questions on the topic as well:

“I have been at my job for two years and have never had a raise even mentioned to me. I feel I am valuable to my company with all I contribute. Fellow employees have told me that our company rarely gives raises, some have even said they wait 4 years for a raise. How can I approach my boss about this?” Rezvani answers: “First off, don’t wait to be asked about your raise! It’s best if you bring it up. I am not a fan of waiting until review time… If you have a strong case, make it anytime of the year, but preferably right after a big accomplishment. Also, don’t be frightened out of asking for a raise just because no one else is doing it or “it’s not done around here.” If anything, there is less of a trend toward rewarding every employee the same exact way. Show why you specifically deserve this raise and how you can contribute at even higher levels in the future.”


“How do you negotiate with an employer for more vacation time when they say it is non-negotiable during an interview?” Rezvani answers: “Vacation time is often negotiable – even when people say it’s not. It all depends on how much they want you. If it’s something you’re emphatic about, tell them. But have an alternative or second-best outcome if they continually push back. Come up with options. If you’re first choice is 30 vacation days, ask for that first. If they push back, try 28 days with reimbursement for a $1,000 training course. Your third option could be 25 days, a training course, and something else of value to you.”