How to Ask for a Raise: 7 Tips to Do It Effectively
Asking for a raise can be scary. But the truth is, it is completely normal to ask for a raise, especially if you have worked at least six months to a year in a company and have contributed positively to its success and progress.
Most companies do reward their high-performing employees with more compensation as time goes by. That said, unless there are regular evaluations or pay raise periods, employees might have to take the first step in securing a salary they deserve. Do not worry, though—although it may make you feel nervous or uneasy, there are steps you can do that can make asking for a raise less daunting. Here are seven tips to help you ask for a raise more effectively!
Take on more responsibility.
Before asking for a raise, you must exhibit the characteristics of an employee who deserves it. Imagine yourself in a higher job tier than where you currently are; that is, take on a mindset similar to your supervisors or bosses. Do your current work excellently, but also start identifying and solving problems that your future self in the company would be dealing with.
Work to align yourself with your company’s goals and prove that you are in it for the long haul. It is important for yourself (i.e., your career) and for your bosses that you share a common idea about the company’s growth and how you fit into this growth in the future. This will help put more value in yourself as an employee.
Think of the context.
Timing is everything. When you ask for a raise plays a big part in how it may play out. You must consider the context of the company and your current position before opening up the subject of increased pay. Look into the company’s financial calendar and see when your employer usually gives out raises. You do not necessarily have to time your pitch then. But it can be advantageous when your company is already preparing to be in a position to reward high-performing employees with higher compensation. Other times when it would be good to ask for a raise are after a big achievement, after a positive performance review, or after consistently praised high-quality work.
As much as possible, do not ask your company for a raise when it is financially unstable. (Or even when your boss is having a terrible day or is worried about impending problems in the company—even our bosses are human, after all, and this may affect their decision.) If your company is not an ideal circumstance to give you a raise, identify the challenges contributing to this. Your goal in asking for a raise is to prove to your employer that giving you this salary increase is beneficial to the company. So communicate that you recognize the company’s hurdles and offer possible solutions that you can do to address them.
Consider what you bring to the team.
When asking for a raise, it is important to recognize and prove your value to the company. Consider what you bring to the team by asking yourself, “If I suddenly leave today, will I be easily replaceable?” If the answer is no, use your irreplaceability to leverage your worth in the team.
You should consider your value not only in the present but in the future as well. Actively find ways to make yourself a high-value employee by nurturing your skills; you can do this by attending conferences, taking classes that can benefit your work, etc.
Prepare for the meeting.
Set a date and time when you would like to discuss a raise with your employer. Do not ask for a raise via e-mail or, worse, text. Do it face-to-face so you can better communicate with your boss.
Before the meeting, make sure that you are prepared by rehearsing your pitch. Practice making eye contact, prepare an agenda (to help you rid yourself of any nervous fillers), and perfect your pitch. During the meeting, make sure that you dress the part; be on time, and speak with professionalism.
Back it up with data and numbers.
The best way to effectively secure a raise is by proving that your company is making a good investment in you. When you talk to your employer, make sure that you bring proof of how you have helped the company achieve its goals through your work. Document sales growths, increased customer acquisitions, better audience engagement, etc., and show these to your employer.
What could be even more effective is to proactively communicate your wins with your employer throughout your employment. That is not to say that you should be flaunting your achievements. But it would be helpful to take an effort to make sure your contributions are recognized so that it will be easier for your employer to decide to reward you later on.
Give a specific number.
Once you have established your value in the company, it is important to translate that into a specific number (i.e., the salary you are asking for). Consider your current salary and your workload, then research the market for pay rates in jobs and positions similar to yours. Be reasonable with your amount, but also note that with negotiations, you will likely end up with 15% less of your original ask.
Giving a specific number helps your employer manage expectations—both concerning you and about the company’s finances.
Be ready for the possibility of a “No.”
Even with good timing and backed-up accomplishments, there is still no way to guarantee that you end up with the exact outcome you want out of asking for a raise. But know that even if you are presented with a “maybe” or a “no,” it is okay. If your boss asks to have some time to consider your pitch, make sure that you are informed of what to expect next. Ask if you can check-in for an update at a later date.
If your employer says no, ask them for an explanation of their decision and advice on how you can be better positioned for a raise in the future. Then you must decide whether or not you can (and are willing) follow through with these steps. If you are not, or if your boss cannot give you a reason behind their rejection, you may want to consider looking for a higher salary elsewhere.
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