How to Ask For a Raise
OK, so you have decided you want to ask for a raise. Go you!
Asking for a raise can be intimidating and nerve-wracking, but if you’ve been putting in the work, you are worthy of a competitive salary and it’s time to get what you deserve.
While there is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to asking for a raise, there are some steps that you can take to increase your chances of success.
Set Yourself Up For Success
There are several things you can do to set yourself up for the best chance of success when heading into that meeting to ask for more money.
Are you feeling undervalued at work but unsure of how to ask for a raise? Asking for a salary increase can be daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. With the right preparation and strategy in place, you can make the process less intimidating and potentially get the pay rise that you deserve.
In this blog post, we will discuss how to prepare yourself mentally and emotionally before making your case, as well as tips on what information and evidence you should have ready when making your request. With these steps in mind, asking for a raise doesn’t have to be an anxiety-inducing task.
Timing is Everything
This could never be more true than when you are about to make a raise request.
You want better compensation, so ask at the appropriate time.
First of all, let's consider your personal timing. How long have you been in this position?
If you have just started, wait at least a minimum of six months before asking for a raise. Has it been six months since your last raise? Also excellent timing.
If your supervisor is asking you to perform tasks and take on new responsibilities or complete projects that are above your job title and description, it may be a good time to ask for a raise.
Is it time for performance reviews? Perhaps then is when you want to ask for higher compensation.
Office Environment Timing
What about the timing of your office environment and beyond? Did your company just make major layoffs? Is there a hiring freeze?
Although you might deserve a raise, the chances of you getting one during a tumultuous time are probably lower than when the company is in a healthier place.
If that healthier place never seems to come, well, you are going to have to ask eventually. It is ideal if the company is not in crisis mode when you ask for more compensation.
Global Economic Timing
In the United States, right now is actually an excellent time to ask for a raise.
A Wall Street Journal article just reported that job switchers are seeing salary increases of 7.7%. That means employers may be scared of employees leaving, so you can leverage that to ask for more money.
Schedule a Meeting
Now, how to set up that meeting with your boss so you have her full attention and the best chance of success.
Send her an email saying you would like to speak to her about something. You know your relationship with your boss and how you speak to each other. Are you formal? Do you have a professional friendship and do you both use emojis when you communicate? Write the way you normally do and just let her know you were hoping to chat about something for a few minutes.
If she really values you, hey, she might be scared you are going to quit. This could actually work in your favor, because when you walk in and ask for a raise, she will breathe a sigh of relief that you aren't leaving and be eager to make that pay raise happen..
You want a scheduled meeting so you know she is focused on what you have to say and is not taking other calls or rushing to another meeting.
There may be a natural meeting in the works already, such as a scheduled performance review.
If that goes well, you can easily transition into asking for more money.
Get Ready Mentally
Prepare yourself mentally and emotionally before making your case.
What do you need to do to clear your head and come into this meeting strong and ready? This is personal. Do you like to meditate? Get in a yoga session or tough workout? What puts you in the best place mentally? Do that the night before the meeting.
Talk to your cheer squad, those friends or family members who always lift you up and make you feel your best.
Why Are You Asking For a Raise?
If you are having a baby, buying a new car or home, moving into a bigger apartment or taking on any other lifestyle change that your current salary doesn't cover, that's actually not your company's problem.
Sorry, but what you need in your life really isn't your company's responsibility, as tough as that may sound.
Personal reasons are not reasons to ask for a raise. Comparable salaries and your own performance are reasons to ask for a raise.
Come Armed With Compelling Data
You need to come into the pay raise meeting armed with DATA.
What kind of data do you need?
Give specific examples of projects you have taken on that have generated more income for the company over the past year.
If your job does not directly correlate with revenue generation, show how different tasks and projects you have taken on have made your boss' work life easier or contributed to bigger company goals. Give an example of how you made your boss look good.
Are comparable positions paying significantly more? This is a reason to ask for a raise.
Come armed with salary data.
If you are friendly with certain co workers, ask around the office. Salary transparency is a hot topic. As of January 1, multiple states are enacting salary transparency laws.
Research salary benchmarks on salary.com or indeed.com to check out what people in your position are making. Compare by city.
Do Not Bluff About Having Another Job Offer
At the salary negotiation meeting, and in life, you do not want to lie. Ever.
If you do in fact have another job offer, go you! You are in a wonderful position to negotiate and leverage that offer to possibly get your salary request approved at your current job.
If you do not have another job offer, do not say you do to try to get your current employer to meet your demands. People can smell lies. Lying is also never going to work in your favor.
This tactic could potentially blow up in your face if your current boss tells you they can't meet your demands and you should go take the other job...that doesn't exist.
Getting The Raise
Ideally, your boss agrees to the raise in the meeting.
However, there may be other channels she needs to go through to get it approved. Perhaps she has to speak to her supervisor about the higher salary.
She may suggest you revisit this conversation at a later date. Ask her when and then follow up in the recommended time.
Don't be discouraged if you do not get the raise immediately.
If she has to speak to others to get it approved, let that process happen. Ask her when you should check back in with her and then follow up if you haven't heard anything.
Set Your Sights on the Future
So now you have that pay raise you wanted. Excellent! Say goodbye to your current salary and hello to your salary raise.
Get ready to take on this new role by being proactive.
Keep a log of your notable work and accomplishments so when it is time to go in and ask for the next raise, you are ready.
Give Yourself a Self-Care Bonus
You don't want lifestyle inflation to come with more money. Put the majority of your pay increase towards investing for the future you and don't forget to reward yourself for all of your hard work with a luxury you want (within your budget).
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