Tips On How and When To Ask For a Raise

Tips On How and When To Ask For a Raise

It's easy to ask your boss for certain things. For instance, requesting a day off to make a doctor's appointment might not be much of an issue. The same is true for asking to take on a new project or responsibility. However, it's harder to ask for other things, like a raise. In fact, asking for a raise is so intimidating that few employees do it. But your hesitation could keep you from getting the money you deserve. To initiate the conversation and improve your chances of success, follow these tips.

1. Be Smart About the Timing

Although you might think of your manager as some sort of robot, they're just a normal human being. On a bad day, they're grumpy and unapproachable. But on a good day, they might be friendly and eager to speak with you. This is why the timing of your request for a raise is everything.

Before you decide to speak with your manager, gauge their mood. Are they rushed or annoyed? Did they just spend hours dealing with a disaster? If so, you might want to wait another day before you mention the raise. Your best chance of success is to speak with your manager when they're in good spirits. This could be after they complete a major project, win an award, or have a satisfied client.

2. You've Excelled for a Year

Some companies provide annual performance reviews when they decide whether or not an employee deserves a raise. However, this isn't always the case. You might not have a performance review, or the employer might not mention a raise during the review.

In either case, it's up to you to bring it up. As long as your employer hasn't increased your salary in 12 months and your work has been up to par, you can bring up the prospect of a raise. Your achievements could be enough to convince them to give you a better salary.

3. Know Your Worth

Before you speak with your employer, you should do some research. Figure out how much you're worth in the current job market. On average, how much does someone in your position and in your region make?

If you make less than the average worker, you deserve more. But, if you're near the top of the salary range, you might want to wait to request a raise. You don't want to come across as greedy or entitled.

As you research the salary range, know that the numbers may not be accurate. The job duties can vary significantly from one position to the next, even if they have the same title. Use your research as a starting point, but understand the salary range may not be accurate.

4. Speak with Others

You shouldn't go around the workplace asking everyone about their earnings. That said, it could be useful to speak with co-workers and friends about their expectations for salary in your position. Ask them what they might expect someone to earn working in your position for your specific company.

When or if you approach co-workers about this, be cautious. Don't make it seem as if you're dissatisfied, and don't make them feel uncomfortable.

5. Consider the Salary Structure

After you have a general idea of your salary, think about your employer's salary structure. Do they have policies about their pay increases? Some employers only allow increases of a certain amount each year.

By researching this, you can avoid making an impossible request. The fewer reasons you give your boss to say no, the better your chances of success.

6. Phrasing Matters

When you ask for a raise, you need to choose your words with care. You don't need to give a 20-minute presentation about why you deserve a raise. Usually, the most successful requests are the ones that are short and direct.

As you speak with your employer, explain why you believe you've earned a raise. Thank them for giving you more opportunities to take on added responsibility, and be specific about those opportunities. Ask if they're open to discussing adjusting your salary.

7. Make it Easy for Them

If your boss has their own manager or HR department to answer to, make their life easier. Give them a short list of bullet points showcasing your accomplishments or increased responsibilities.

When your manager speaks to the higher-ups about your raise, they can use your list as a compelling argument. It could be what you need to get the change.

8. Focus on Your Work

As you argue the reasons for a salary increase, avoid speaking about your finances. An employer doesn't care if your mortgage is too high or if you have a baby on the way. It matters to you, but isn't a valid reason for a raise.

Focus instead on the reasons you deserve the increase. If you make any mention of your personal finances, you weaken your argument.

9. Know How to Handle Rejection

There's a chance your employer will say no, but it's not the end of the world. If they say no, make sure you know where to go from there. This is especially true for instances when the manager is uncertain. It's acceptable to ask if you can check back in with them on a specific date.

If they directly say no, ask what you can do to be more deserving of a raise. Use the moment as an opportunity to grow and become a better employee.

10. Know When to Look for New Work

An employer could have a good reason to deny you for a raise. But this isn't always the case. If you feel as if your employer doesn't appreciate you or is severely underpaying you, it might be time to look elsewhere.

At the very least, you can use a job offer as leverage for better pay. If your manager still refuses a raise, you can take your leave and move on with your career.

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