Can I Use Inflation to Negotiate a Bigger Raise?

On this episode of the Money Confidential podcast, host Stefanie O’Connell Rodriguez talks with Mandi Woodruff-Santos, career coach and co-host of the Brown Ambition podcast, about how to bring up inflation in your next salary negotiation.

floating hot air balloons that look like dollar bills
Photo: Olivia Barr

Every Monday on the Money Confidential podcast, host Stefanie O'Connell Rodriguez, a nationally recognized money expert, delves into your (confidential) money problems and delivers smart, practical, and completely doable solutions that will help you work toward your ultimate financial goals. This is the place to come for real talk about money—and real solutions that actually work.

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On This Episode

As prices rise on everything from food to housing, your paycheck may not be going as far as it used to. So how can you or should you bring up inflation in your next salary negotiation? Stefanie turns to career coach and co-host of the Brown Ambition podcast, Mandi Woodruff-Santos, for answers.

Meet Our Caller

"Carmen" is a listener from New York City who works in marketing for a software company. Financially, Carmen is planning her upcoming wedding, and hoping to buy a house with her fiancé. Carmen is happy in her job, but she wants to make enough money to move out of her small apartment, go on vacation, and contribute more to her retirement—all things that she doesn't think are possible if she stays with her current employer.

Anonymous Caller "Carmen"

"I think if I made $20,000 to $30,000 more than what I have, I would be comfortable. And I think it's realistic based on conversations that I've had with recruiters."

—Anonymous Caller "Carmen"

Meet Host Stefanie O'Connell Rodriguez

Money confidential podcast - host, Stefanie O'Connell Rodriguez
Caroline White Photography

Stefanie is a nationally recognized personal finance expert ready to talk work, worth, and money with unapologetically ambitious women. Her work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, USA Today, Cosmopolitan, Glamour, and Oprah Magazine, and Stefanie has appeared on ABC World News, CBSN, Fox & Friends, Fox Business, Bloomberg, The Dr. Oz Show, The Doctors, and more to share her smart, practical solutions to any money problem.

Meet Our Expert, Mandi Woodruff-Santos

Mandi Woodruff-Santos
Shane Samuels

Mandi Woodruff-Santos is the award-winning cohost of Brown Ambition and founder of the MandiMoney Makers, a one-of-a-kind leadership and career coaching community for women of color. As a career and money expert, Mandi is a regular contributor to Yahoo Finance Live and has been featured on The Dr. Phil Show, The New York Times, CNBC, CNN, Business Insider, Essence, and Teen Vogue.

Advice From the Episode

Mandi Woodruff-Santos

"If you can look at, 'Okay, where do I want to be in a few years from now? And what do I think the life I want will cost me?' and then compare that to the salary you're earning now, that can help you get some clarity on what you need to do to get to that goal of yours."

—Mandi Woodruff-Santos
  • "I encourage people to not feel super loyal to their employer and to take opportunities as they come. Not quit willy-nilly—but be open. Don't get complacent and feel stagnant." — Mandi
  • "If you're always passively job-searching, it gives the ability for jobs to come to you and for you to receive those opportunities, and to then make decisions about them." — Mandi
  • Keep your LinkedIn updated. "Not only are you reminding people that you exist, but you're more likely to actually see a message from a recruiter if you're using the platform." — Mandi
  • Quit with compassion. "Think of what you can do to ease the transition. And if you can give a decent chunk of time as notice, then do that ... They're going to be fine." — Mandi
  • If you bring up inflation in a one-on-one salary negotiation: "Be prepared to hear, 'No.' But maybe that conversation will encourage the company or leadership to do a compensation analysis, even mid-year." — Mandi

Links and Resources

Download the transcript for this episode.

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