Asking for a raise can be a nerve-wracking event—so nerve-wracking, in fact, that many people avoid it altogether. But failing to ask for a raise when you rightfully deserve one could mean missing out on a substantial amount of money or the even the opportunity to advance in your career.
It can be an uncomfortable situation, but if you truly feel that you deserve to be monetarily recognized for your hard work, it’s likely your boss will notice too. If you need to ask for a raise, here are a few tips.
Consider the timing
If you’ve been working for a company long enough to ask for a raise, you are likely pretty knowledgeable about the right time to ask for something significant. If it’s a stressful or overly busy week for your boss, consider putting the talk off a bit until things slow down. Also consider your own timing. Have you been with the company long enough to be making this request? As a general rule, it’s usually good to wait until you’ve been there for a year before asking for additional compensation. Each year, you should reevaluate your work with your boss and that meeting is the best time to bring up the mention of a raise. If you were told during your interview or training that you would be reevaluated after six months, consider that when choosing the right time.
Know—and be ready to explain—your work
Our managers and supervisors are busy people, and often, some of our excellent work may go unnoticed. If you are asking for a raise, it’s your job to inform your boss of all the good things you do. Consider creating a document showcasing the strides you’ve made, the projects you’ve completed and the milestones you’ve achieved. Having all of this laid out in front of your boss will make it much easier for them to understand why you want, and deserve, a raise.
Have a number in mind
You don’t want to be dumbfounded when you ask for a raise and your boss asks “how much?” Instead, do your research and figure out how much you deserve and what the average salary is for your current position. Does your raise chat also come with a promotion chat? If so, consider the pay rates of others in your office (if you know) and those in similar companies and areas to yours. If you’ve been at the company for a while, consider the pay changes you’ve experienced in the past—if your last raise was a 2 percent increase, it may be too outlandish to ask for a 10 percent raise this time around.
Consider options beyond money
There are times when your boss may want to pay you more, but current numbers just don’t allow for it. If you are told this, have other options in mind that you can present your employer while you wait for their finances to change. Would it be easier on you to work from home once a week? Do you simply want a title change with the discussion of a monetary raise to come later? Consider all your options and present your case should you be told no to your original salary request.
Don’t get discouraged
Even though we are nervous about the discussion, we often don’t expect to hear no when asking for a raise. Unfortunately, that answer is quite common. If the reason is due to your work, ask your boss to explain what you can do better in the coming months and if you can reconvene after you improve. If the reason is not personal and the company simply cannot afford a raise, ask if that will soon change. Before your meeting, have a plan prepared in case the meeting does not go your way. You may want to start looking for other jobs before the talk or decide that you will stick it out in your current position no matter the answer. Being prepared with this answer will make the talk—no matter the outcome—much easier.
If you are looking to make more money and want to change careers or find a new job, have a professional recruiter help get you there. The Goodkind Group is skilled in matching candidates with the right employers—for the right salary. To learn more about how we can help you, contact us at 212-378-0700 or visit our website for more information.