A few decades of life experience has taught me that, for the most part, if you want to obtain something, you have to ask for it -besides working for it-. This is particularly true when it comes to pay raises.
Unless you are a government employee or work for a large corporation, it is unlikely your employer will regularly review – and increase-your salary. Most businesses don’t have any procedure in place when it comes to this topic.
In not asking, not only you will not receive, but you will leave thousands of dollars on the table; guaranteed.
KNOW YOUR ACCOMPLISHMENTS
Your manager is probably very busy and doesn’t have time to keep track of everything you do for your employer. This is your job to do this. The worst thing you can do is justifying your request by talking about how your personal expenses have increased or how you need to save for retirement.
Show how you add value to the company instead, with a focus on the bottom line. Also highlight areas that are above your job responsibilities. Knowing your accomplishments will help you address objections.
KNOW YOUR MARKET
Before approaching your boss, you should do research on what people with your profile are paid in your industry and in your city. Your sources need to be credible. Many professional associations publish yearly guides and reports. Use them if you can.
KNOW YOUR TIMING
Timing counts when asking for a raise. Try to align your request around the company’s financial trajectory. Year-ends could be a good time, as your employer is most likely preparing its budget. You may also wait for your annual review.
Avoid asking for a raise at a high-stress period. Schedule a face-to-face meeting.
KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE
Ultimately, asking for a raise is a business transaction. If you tell your employer how much you love your job or how you don’t want to leave, you are already leaving money behind.
You want to remain positive while at the same time make it clear you are aware your services are so valuable you would be an asset to any company who would hire you. It is not about burning bridges or being arrogant. Ultimately, it is about knowing your worth.
KNOW YOUR OPTIONS
Depending on your employer, you may not be able to obtain your desired raise for a variety of reasons. Salary is not the only thing you can negotiate. Everything is negotiable!
You could ask for a bonus, more vacation, for opportunities to work from home, for tuition assistance etc…. Benefits are also important and they can make a huge difference in your life.
If all fails, you may want to think about whether you want to stay or look for another job. Regardless of your decision or how disappointed you feel, remain professional.
It took me some time to master the basics of asking for a raise at work. This process is daunting for most people, but perhaps more for women.
The ability to negotiate our salaries is important. Our level of income will largely dictates our lifestyles.