Told employer I have an offer with a higher salary as a negotiating tactic to get a raise. How should I respond to their request to see the letter?

It’s unclear to me if you truly have an offer for a higher salary. If you don’t, then you have certainly put yourself in quite the situation. There are numerous negotiating tactics that don’t involve lying. If you think you deserve a raise, then your best bet is to have a frank discussion with your employer rather than try to bluff your way to the top.

Because your employer is asking for the letter rather than taking your word for it, then this lends itself to the assumption that perhaps there is a trust issue between you and your current employer, to begin with. It’s all shaky ground.

I think the bigger issue here is whether or not you have a current employee contract in place. An employee contract is a valuable agreement that could help you avoid situations just like this one. Common concepts to include in an employee contract are:

  • General job information
  • Time off and vacation policy
  • Employee classification
  • Confidentiality agreement
  • Termination terms
  • Termination requirements
  • Compensation and benefits

Specifically, that last point is the part of the contract where you include information about things like raises and performance reviews. Perhaps if you and your employer had a solid plan of what raises look like, then you would have approached this issue differently.

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