Asking for a raise can be an awkward experience, if you let it. If you go in prepared and well-timed, it can really improve your work and your work relationships. Here are some tips on feeling more confident asking your employer for a pay raise and a couple that can just help you nail “the talk” in general. The number one thing to keep in mind is to know that you deserve the raise and don’t just take a “no” for an answer, have solid reasons for the “YES”!
Know Your Job’s Worth
You may think you know what you should be getting paid but you truly won’t know until you’re able to compare your wages with medians of others’ wages in your field. The internet has many different resources to help you do this and can even give insight onto salary medians in your region, which can also be important as standard-of-living is different everywhere.
This can also be relative to you, personally. Don’t come to your boss, asking for a raise, empty-handed. Have numbers and projects, including testimonials from happy clients. If your employer doesn’t know your worth, you have to show them! Remember to sell yourself to them, not to beg them.
Know Your Company’s Past
Every rung on the ladder of success is a different obstacle. Knowing your company’s pay/promotion patterns and practices can really help your chances of getting a pay raise. Ask around, discreetly, on what your boss looks for and who has moved up more quickly than others. Knowing your boss’ personality can really give you an advantage when approaching for something like money. Your employer already has a budget and to squeeze you in it will take some finesse. If knowing how and when they will react in a more positive manner can help, why not use it? Paying attention to those that have paved the way can only help your ascension.
Know Your Worth – Good and Bad
While you can do anything you put your mind to, and you should feel comfortable asking for what you feel you deserve, be realistic in your goals. Is the company’s business having a slow patch? How long as it been since your last increase in pay? Being realistic, yet firm gives little room to move for your employer. Be smart about it and friendly. Money is considered taboo talk and to be done in hushed voices, but if you come to your employer confidently, like an adult, they can’t just turn you away without listening to what you have to say.
Don’t Wait, Act Now!
It’s a bad idea to wait for your “annual” review. The whole point of this confidence thing is to have the slight upper-hand. If your boss comes to you and tells you what you did right and wrong, they are making the case for you. That is not what you want. If you want to represent yourself and state your own case for a raise, do not wait, take the initiative and speak up.
When asking for something like a raise, don’t speak awkwardly. Know what you want to say and go in prepared. Practice requesting the raise out loud in private or to your spouse or a close friend. You don’t want to hear yourself asking for a raise for the first time when you’re actually asking for your raise. Remember to state positives about yourself, your position and your co-workers. That may seem like a given, but you want to make sure that you don’t speak about your flaws or the flaws of those that you work with. Don’t give your boss ammo to refuse your request and you also don’t want to sound petty by throwing others under the bus. Sometimes asking for a pay increase is a dance and you want to lead, but gently.
Employers want to spend the money but they also want to know that the job is getting done. As long as money is being spent on something valuable towards their business, they can justify the expense. Only you know what you are worth and you will have to fight for your value but also be able to back it up with knowledge and skills. What do you want to project to your employer? Do research and have statistics at hand when you do meet up to discuss a raise or promotion. Know what you are talking about and speak directly and confidently to your superior, albeit with respect.