Feeling unappreciated? Do your wages not reflect how much effort you put into your work? Then it sounds like you could use a primer on how to ask for a raise.
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But before you have that conversation, we’re here to help guide you with tips on how to ask for a raise. That way, you’ll be ready to ask for the salary you deserve.
As you grow in your career, you become more valuable to the workforce. And being valuable means better benefits, and a bigger paycheck. But talking money with your boss is a frightening experience for many.
Will they perceive you as greedy? Are you not as important to the company as you previously thought?
With so many concerns looming overhead, how do you properly ask for a raise without fumbling the opportunity?
In reality, no matter how much you love your job, if the current salary doesn’t work for you, then a pay increase is necessary. Either that or you look for new work. However, finding a new job will also require a conversation about money. There’s no better time than now to learn how to properly ask for a raise.
1. Timing Makes All the Difference
Before you plan to sit down with your boss and discuss your desired salary, you need to ask yourself if the timing is right. Because you don’t want to ruffle any feathers and miss your chance to earn more money. Or come off as out of touch for asking when the business is struggling.
So, when is the best time to ask for a raise?
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When Profits Are Up
If you learn that profits are on the rise for your job, then it’s a good time to ask for a salary raise. By asking when numbers are high, you’re ensuring that there is a surplus of funds available to frame your request as reasonable. But if you ask when profits are down, your employer is less likely to pay out.
Nevertheless, if you’re the reason for a profit increase, then you have an excellent argument for a raise.
Keep in mind you’ll need to prepare to sing your own praises to your employer. Which can feel embarrassing. But if there’s ever been a time to humble brag, it’s now.
When you sit down to discuss compensation, don’t hold back. Let them know that you’re an asset to the team.
When Your Role Changes
Sometimes your roles at work change. Oftentimes, new responsibilities trickle into your workload without any talk of additional compensation.
If you’re working more, but your pay doesn’t increase, then you’re actually earning less than you were.
Maybe there’s a hiring freeze, and suddenly you’re taking on a larger workload. Or you’ve been putting in longer hours to help out. If additional responsibilities don’t come hand in hand with a conversation about compensation, you need to request one.
When you’re someone that your employer can count on to pick up the slack, then you’re a valuable part of the team. And you deserve to feel valued. Don’t let work pile up on your desk without anyone acknowledging your efforts.
So, gather up evidence of your hard work. Then explain to your manager how much you do for your team. If your current salary doesn’t reflect your contributions to the company, it’s time to ask for a raise.
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When It’s Been Months Since Your Last Raise
Have you spent the past year working the same job without a raise? Or worse, are you unable to remember the last time you were offered better pay? Then you’re in a good position to ask for a raise.
Typically, companies offer employees regular incentives, or raises. However, even with regular cost-of-living raises, employee loyalty can impress a manager enough to provide additional salary increases.
Talk to other co-workers, and find out if they’ve ever asked for a raise. Then, you can have a better idea of what to expect when asking your manager about your desired salary. No, it’s not actually taboo–it’s in your mutual best interest.
Remember, a company loses money when they have to train new employees. So, the longer employees stick around, the better it is for the company.
And as far as how often you can ask for a raise, every six months to a year is the norm. But, feel out your personal situation, as this can vary by field.
When You Have a Performance Review
Asking for a raise during a performance review may seem like a no brainer. Since you’re already sitting down to discuss your career, it feels appropriate to ask for more money to go along with your dazzling review.
Prior to the meeting, you should prepare your pitch. However, keep in mind that some companies have set salary increases that are determined by other supervisors, regardless of positive feedback. The increase could occur during your annual review, or throughout the year.
If you have a performance review coming up, it might benefit you to schedule a one on one meeting prior to your review. Then, you either get the conversation out of the way, and know your review will go well. Or, you give your boss the opportunity to prepare an offer.
Ultimately, your performance review can be a great starting point for asking for a raise.
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2. Numbers Talk
When you sit down with your manager to talk about your career accomplishments and salary, you need to show hard evidence that you deserve a raise. Don’t show up to a salary discussion with only rave reviews. While being a pleasure to work with is important, you need to show quantitative evidence that you’re beneficial to this company.
Have you been saving the company money ever since taking over inventory? Then, quantify that. Show exactly how much you’ve saved, and how much you stand to save over time.
Are you bringing in more clients? Or running successful advertising campaigns? Well, it’s time you bring up your earnings. And provide projections for other important projects in the future.
Not only that, but you need to show salary data. When you ask for a raise, remember to have a number in mind. Do some research on inflation, and cost-of-living in your area. There are many personal reasons to ask for a raise. But if you don’t know exactly what to ask for, you aren’t doing yourself any favors.
3. Know the Market Value of Your Job Title
In order to prepare you for your meeting, you need to know the market value and salary benchmarks for your job title. Odds are, your current employer hires based on competitor’s salary ranges. Which means, similar jobs will be your basis for what your raise should be.
Conduct some salary research of your own to find out where you stand against the competition. Salary websites are a great place to start when comparing salaries.
If you haven’t been receiving regular salary increases, then what you’re currently being paid might be less than others in your field.
Once you gather your research, set up a short meeting with your manager. Let them know you see yourself remaining with the company. And give examples of future goals you have in mind so they know you’re serious.
Then, bring up what you’re making in comparison to others with the same job title in your area.
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4. Aim High for More Money
After you conduct your research, you should have a rough idea of how much of an increase you want. But don’t settle for the bare minimum. Instead, lean towards the high end of your desired salary range.
What this means is, ask for more money. The worst thing your manager can say is “no” and offer you a lower amount. Which could be the exact amount you’re looking for.
Then, if you want to, you can even try to haggle a slightly higher raise than your manager’s counter offer. Don’t be too persistent. Negotiations are all about a healthy back and forth. But you don’t want to be off-putting. So, quit once the salary figure they’re offering you is at or above that of similar positions.
5. Be Clear About What You Want and Why You Deserve a Raise
When you request a raise, it’s important to be direct and not beat around the bush. Keep in mind that you’re not simply talking to your employer. Instead, you’re having a career altering conversation – no pressure! So, you’ll want to be sure of yourself, and your request.
The language you use is important. Try to avoid sounding meek. And speak with self-assurance when you talk about your achievements and goals.
While we’re on the subject of goals, be clear about what yours are. Sure, no one can predict the future. But as far as this meeting is concerned, you’re in it for the long haul. Because uncertainty in regards to your future with your employer is a fast track to not getting a raise.
Know what you want. So that when you speak it into existence, it sounds like you don’t just want it, but you deserve it. And if you’re nervous about how you sound when asking for a raise, then try rehearsing your pitch.
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6. Practice Asking for a Pay Raise
Are you worried about what to say when asking for a raise? Then practice will help. Before you make your request for a salary increase, practice what you’re going to say. Go ahead and write down what you might want to say. Make a plan so you know when it’s the best time to ask. And if you need to wait in the meantime, there’s no harm in being extra prepared.
Ask a friend to sit down with you and practice with them. Have them critique your performance. Listen carefully to their thoughts. Because they’re here to help you.
If you’d rather practice alone, you can write down what you plan to say. Or you can record yourself asking for a raise. Once you read it over, or listen to your own pitch, you can have a better idea of how it will sound.
When you’re practicing, go ahead and plan your possible rejection. That way, you’ll be able to prepare for that moment. Asking for a raise with confidence requires you to be on your game from start to finish.
Don’t blow future raises – or your job security – all over a bad attitude after a rejection. Instead of a failure, think of it as a learning experience. Take the good parts of your proposal and save them for next time. Then take the not-so-good parts, and improve upon them.
But if you’re still worried about making your move, we have 5 conversation starters to help you get the salary you deserve.
How to Ask for a Raise – Conversation Starters
Sometimes all we need is a little push to get us started. So, if you can’t find the right words to start a conversation about a raise, then we can help. Follow along for 5 conversation starters to help you ask for a raise with confidence.
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1. “I’d love to discuss my recent performance with you. Can we set up a time to talk?”
Simple and straight to the point. But the willingness to talk about your own performance will show initiative. And if it doesn’t secure you a raise immediately, it will set you up for a better chance in the future.
2. “I’m happy to see that the most recent project is a success. Are you available to discuss future projects and my role within the company?”
Along with showing initiative, this conversation starter shows interest in the longevity of your career. And it shows that you’re with your employers for the long haul.
3. “When you’re available, I’d like to setup a meeting before my next performance review to discuss my salary.”
Not only are you being upfront, but you’re also giving your boss a chance to ready himself for negotiations. But keep in mind that your boss could respond by telling you that now isn’t a good time to discuss your salary. And if that’s the case, please refer to our “pro tips” section below.
4. “I’ve recently taken on new responsibilities in addition to my original workload. I’ve received positive feedback, and I’d appreciate us sitting down to talk about my future at the company.”
Instead of asking outright for more money, you’re laying the framework for the intended discussion. But be prepared to give examples of that feedback, and those new responsibilities.
5. “When we last spoke, we talked about a salary increase. I was wondering if you’ve given more thought to my request. If so, when are you available to revisit our discussion?”
If you’ve been waiting to revisit a the subject of a raise after previously being told no, then it might be time to circle back. Take the initiative to ask your boss if they can meet to talk about your salary.
Don’t forget to gather evidence of your hard work. Including exactly how that hard work helps the company.
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How to Ask for a Raise – Pro Tips
The build-up to asking for your desired compensation can easily lead to overthinking what you’re going to say. But if you want to confidently ask for a raise, you have to shake off those concerns.
In order to help orient your thought process, we have even more tips to keep you on track. So, next time you sit down with the head of your professional organization, you’ll be cool, calm, and ready to ask for a raise.
Don’t Lowball Yourself
If you’re as good as you claim you are at your job, then you’re worth the higher pay. Avoid underselling yourself. Plus, you run the risk of being taken advantage of.
Don’t Threaten to Quit
Unless you have a backup plan ready to go, ultimatums are risky business. Instead, offer examples of how much others with the same title are making.
And if you do have something lined up, don’t tell your manager, or superiors. Keep your movements on the downlow.
Don’t Take No for an Answer
Instead of rolling over in defeat, follow up by asking when there’s a better time to discuss a pay increase. Or ask what you can do to improve your position at the company. Professional organizations go through ups and downs. Now may not be the best time for them, but don’t give up just yet.
Thank Your Boss for Their Time
Professional courtesy goes a long way. Plus, if you’re asking for a raise because your time is valuable to you, then your employer’s time is also important. Don’t forget to thank them for meeting with you. Regardless of the outcome.
Brag About Your Accomplishments
Go ahead and boast about how great you are. Whether it’s because of your skill set, or because of all you’ve accomplished the last few months. Anything and everything positive you’ve done.
How to Ask for a Raise – Final Thoughts
When you see the process of asking for a raise laid out before you, does it still seem so difficult? Of course, it’s always a nerve-wracking process. But if you’ve been paying attention to our tips, and once you step out of your comfort zone, it gets easier and easier.
Remember, take it one step at a time, speak facts, praise yourself, and be ready with a figure in mind.
Now you have the tools to know how to properly ask for a raise. Your bank account will thank you.
Have you ever asked for a raise? What was your experience like? Did you use any of the tips we provided above? Let us know in the comments?