How to Ask for a Raise
If you are uncomfortable with the idea of asking for a raise, you’re not alone. Why is it so difficult to assess our strengths, then ask someone else to recognize our worth monetarily? The fear of rejection is real. Being rejected after asking for a raise can sew seeds of doubts about our value as a professional. That’s a challenging situation to put yourself in, and it’s no wonder why many people avoid asking for a raise. But don’t worry, I’ve got some tips to help you confidently ask for – and get – a raise!
Why you Shouldn’t be Afraid to Ask for a Raise
Before you think about asking for a raise, you must reflect on the value you bring to your place of work. Have you helped increase revenue? Were you instrumental in completing a large project recently? Has your company witnessed growth?
When asking for a raise, focus on the professional reasons you deserve a raise, and not personal reasons, i.e., “I need more money to pay for my new car.” Start making a list of all the ways you’ve contributed to your work since your last raise. You should be able to see a steady increase in production or contribution if you’re truly deserving of a raise.
Does Your Salary Compare to Others in your Field?
Before approaching your boss about a raise, it’s a good idea to compare your salary with other people in your line of work, in your same region. A graphic designer working at a small community center in mid-Michigan can’t expect the same pay as a graphic designer working at a large ad agency in New York City. Websites like Indeed.com or Monster.com have salary comparison calculators to help you identify what a fair wage is in your area and profession. This will help you understand how much of a raise is appropriate – and realistic – to expect.
Schedule a Meeting to ask for a Raise
After you’ve made your list of accomplishments and identified your target salary, it’s time to schedule a meeting with your boss. It’s important to schedule a separate appointment to ask for a raise. This is not the time to multi-task and talk about other projects. Schedule the meeting in a private setting (no common areas), and make it clear to your boss you’d like to discuss your compensation. Do not – I repeat DO NOT – ask for a raise via email. Doing so shows a lack of formality and importance.
Treating this meeting with formality (like you would an interview) will go a long way with your boss. Dress the part. If your workplace is casual, dress slightly more formally. Doing so demonstrates that you understand the significance of the meeting.
Consider the Timing When Asking for a Raise
While many people wait until their quarterly or annual review to ask for a raise, some experts recommend timing your request just before company budget reviews. This is a good strategy for a couple of reasons. First, you won’t be one of the many people who ask for a raise during review season; therefore, you’ll stand out. Second, if you make your request just before budgeting review, it’s more likely that your raise can be added into the new budget than added into an already allotted budget.
Additionally, it’s a good idea to consider the current demands of your boss. It isn’t advisable to ask for a raise in a particularly stressful season, like when your boss is under multiple deadlines or high stress. Try to get a read on the situation and time your request during a calmer season.
How to Convince your Boss you Deserve a Raise
Leading up to your meeting with your boss, rehearse what you’re going to say. Whether that means memorizing a script or having a list of points in mind to cover, don’t go in thinking you can just wing it. You’ll need to determine two things – how much of a raise you desire and why you deserve it. Once you decide your asking wage, whether it’s a dollar amount or a percentage, be ready to justify your ask.
Detail your results with quantitative data. Share with your boss what goals you’ve accomplished, what deadlines you’ve successfully met, and what commitments you’ve helped the company fulfill. If applicable, include sales increases, company growth, or revenue that you’ve brought in. Show how you’ve added value to the company. Avoid words like feel, think, or believe. Base this meeting on facts, not feelings. It’s harder to argue with facts.
What if Your Boss Turns Down Your Request for a Raise?
Don’t despair. A “No.” might simply be “Not right now.” Take the opportunity to ask your boss what you can do to get the amount you’re requesting. Ask what skills or accomplishments they’d like to see. Ask if they’re satisfied with your performance overall and if there is a better time to discuss a raise in the near future. Then, follow through with their suggestions.
What to do After Your Meeting
After your meeting, thank your boss for their time and consideration. If you got the raise, CONGRATULATIONS! If not, follow up the meeting with an email detailing the points you’ve discussed. Not only will this email serve as a reminder of your accomplishments, but it is also a tool for your boss to use if they need to run your raise by someone above them. Then, get to work on the points you discussed with your boss and get ready to revisit the topic in a few months.
Don’t be intimidated by asking for a raise. It’s a natural part of your professional life, and when properly prepared, you’ll be surprised at how easy it can be.
About the Author
Melanie Lemus is the Communications Specialist for Vision to Purpose providing self-help, business, and career-focused topics. She lives in Virginia with her wonderful husband and witty daughter. Melanie loves her freedom – in Christ and America. She’s passionate about natural health and homeopathy, and she’s always down to take a hike through the mountains.
About Vision to Purpose
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