There are few things more nerve-wracking than considering asking for more money in your current position. Your odds for success increase dramatically when you fully prepare both your justification and timing. Here are some tips on how to go about doing just that:
When to Ask
If it’s been over a year since your last raise, speak up. Raises are usually based on pre-scheduled performance reviews. If your organization doesn’t have these and it’s been over a year since your last merit increase, it’s time to speak up.
You know your company is financially sound. When you know money is tight and people are being let go, it’s not a good time to ask for a raise, but if profits and revenue are on the rise and you’ve been a contributing part of that increase, it’s time to ask
Following a promotion or glowing review. Promotions and performance reviews are opportune times to ask for a raise. You’ll be armed with an arsenal of positive contributions that describe how your work affected the company’s bottom line.
Your boss is more preoccupied than usual. Sure your boss may always be busy, but if you know your boss is more overloaded than usual, consider pausing your request until a quieter time.
How to Ask
Do your research. What are other companies paying for a similar role? Check out sites like Salary.com and Payscale.com to get an idea of companies’ pay rates. The more concrete information you have to validate your raise request, the better.
Be confident. Study your body language. Are you setting the tone (most days) that you’re really happy to be a contributing part of the team? Are you positive and outgoing and frequently offering to pitch in and go the extra mile? Portray the demeanor of someone who deserves a raise. At the time of The Ask, sit up straight, don’t fidget—come across confident, deserving, and grateful.
Highlight your accomplishments. Validating your reason of why you think you need a raise is important! Come prepared with data, testimonials and praise from coworkers and superiors, and examples that illustrate your impact on the company. Quantify your accomplishments by using direct statements such as, “I designed a new checkout flow for the e-commerce site, increasing revenue by $X.”
Be appreciative. Even if the meeting didn’t go as you anticipated and you were denied a raise, thank your boss for taking the time to meet with you to discuss your situation. But don’t just leave it at that. Ask what you can do to reach the point of a raise in the future.
Asking for a raise can be intimidating but remember that both sides usually want to make the relationship work. Being prepared for your meeting is key. Preparedness helps demonstrate to your boss how your contributions directly relate to a merit increase. If you don’t succeed in getting a raise, though, be understanding of the reasoning and use this as a springboard to either define your future roadmap or start a search for the next thing to up your income potential. You can do it, and we’re here to help!
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