It’s nerve-wracking to ask your boss for a raise. The thought is so intimidating that few individuals ever get to gather enough courage to do it.
If you know that you deserve a raise, however, you SHOULD go out there and talk to your boss about it. There’s one thing you have to keep in mind, though. Don’t simply wing it. You have to prepare for it. You have to know exactly what to say and do. This way, you stand a better chance of getting what you want.
Eight things that you need to remember before asking for a raise:
1. Prepare for the discussion.
You have to build a case in your favor. Do not meet with your boss empty-handed.
Write down the reasons why your boss should give you a raise.
Prepare a list of projects that you have completed satisfactorily. Highlight the times when you delivered more than what was expected of you. Mention the times when you were able to give real value to the organization.
Include the new responsibilities you have taken on, the improvements that you have adopted, the tasks that you have spearheaded, and the plans that you want to implement to add to your department’s efficiency.
You can do some research so that you know exactly how much you’re worth. There are certain apps you can use to find out what your market value is. If you have specific data you can use to compare your present salary with, you become more self-confident about negotiating for an increase.
You should also ask yourself some questions to find out if you really believe that you deserve a raise.
Does the raise you intend to ask for accurately reflects the value that you bring to the organization? Is it realistic? Do your experience and skills justify the compensation?
If you truly think that you deserve the raise, rehearse what you intend to say. You must be able to say your piece with conviction and confidence. You must be able to present your points in a compelling and logical manner to justify why you are asking for a raise.
2. Pick the right time.
You can’t just barge into your boss’ office any time you feel like it and demand a pay raise. Timing is important.
Experts agree you stand a better chance of getting an increase when you ask for it during the following times:
- Your annual performance review
- You have successfully completed an important project, made a huge sale, or closed a major deal
- When your manager is happy about how the department is doing
These situations will give you the momentum that you need. They put you in the ideal position to work out a salary increase with your boss.
It is also a good idea to find out what the company’s financial situation is so that you are able to align your request accordingly.
Is the company expecting new funds? When does the new fiscal year start? When you make your request at a time when your employer will have no trouble factoring in an increase in salary, you stand a better chance at getting what you ask for.
3. Know exactly what to say during the conversation.
You don’t need a written script. It is important, though, to know how to initiate and direct the conversation.
Be clear and specific. You can start the conversation by saying something simple, like: “I want to sit down with you and discuss my salary. Is now a convenient time for you?”
You can also say something like: “After working with this company for some time now, I think it is the right company for me to work and grow with. In relation to this, I would love to discuss my salary with you.”
You can state exactly how much salary you think you should be getting – and outline your reasons to support your position.
4. Make the effort to look refined and professional.
Dressing the part is important. It makes you look ready to assume a higher position. It gives you confidence. It gives you a distinct touch of poise and professionalism that will help you push your case.
5. Know how to act.
How you carry yourself during the conversation is just as important as what you say.
Remain confident and gracious. Your employer will hesitate to give you a raise if you seem timid, hesitant, and generally unsure of yourself.
Show how much you love your job by projecting enthusiasm for it. If your employer sees that you are sincerely excited about both, your personal and the company’s goals, he is likely to feel reassured about how invested you are in your job.
Show gratitude. Expressing how much you appreciate the company and what it has done for you is a good prologue to asking for a raise.
6. Know what to expect.
If you have done everything as outlined here, you can expect your boss to address your request with serious consideration.
You should also expect him to negotiate about specific points. You may not get exactly what you want. You must be ready to make compromises.
If your boss makes any promises or discusses conditional or upcoming raises, work out a timeline with him. What are the goals he expects you to achieve? What is the expected timeline for you to reach your desired salary? It is prudent to have such discussions documented in black and white.
7. Know what you have to do after your conversation.
Whether or not you get the raise that you want, it is important for you to maintain or even surpass your current performance levels.
If you get the raise that you ask for, see to it that you and your boss are on the same page regarding new expectations. These should include new people to manage, new deliverables, new bosses to report to, and new performance standards to reach for.
8. Know what to do if the answer is “no.”
Even if you truly deserve a raise, your boss will be unable to give you one if the company’s budget has no room for pay increases.
Ask your boss when it would be possible for the company to give you the raise that you expect.
If he can’t give you the raise now, talk about the possibility of getting more perks. These perks can come in the form of a title change, flex time, additional vacation time, half-day Fridays, or telecommuting. They can also come in the form of a new laptop or mobile phone for work or sponsorship to an interesting industry event or conference. Once your boss says “no” to a big request like a raise, he will be more inclined to say “yes” to your requests for these smaller perks.