When To Ask For A Raise
Asking for a raise is one of the most intimidating things an employee can do, but it really is an important part of being successful in your career. It's also a request that can be easily denied when economic times are tough, but that's exactly when most of us could use a bigger paycheck.
Walking into an interview to ask for a raise without having the confidence that you deserve one and the evidence to back up your request is almost certain to leave you without a good reason to say why you should get a salary increase. How/when to ask for salary raises is a subject that has been addressed many times (that link is to one classic example).
- Do your homework. Bring copies of your past reviews and documented cases of your competence. What have you done above and beyond what your job description? Save the company money? Reduce costs? Generate more revenue? Create a process that saves both time and money? Let them know about it (or remind them).
- Go to your HR Department and ask for the salary range your job classification is given. If you are currently being paid toward the low end, there's a good chance that your excellent performance and reviews will give weight to your request for a pay hike. If you are already at the top of the salary range for your job classification, it's time to look into a promotion or change to a different classification because the chance of a raise is very slight.
- Go online and see what your role pays at different companies. Glassdoor.com is a great place to look at similar roles and see what other people are getting paid. Print out a few of these and bring them to the meeting.
- Timing is everything. If you at the end of a critical or challenging project where your contributions were a key factor in the success of the project, bring it up then.
- Keep it professional. Don’t whine to your boss about why you need the raise. Raising kids and having a mortgage is hard on everyone, not just you, so bringing up those facts won’t help you.
- Ask why. If your boss isn’t willing to (or can’t) give you a raise at that time, ask them, “What can I do to earn a raise?” You might be surprised as the honesty of their answers. Maybe your work hasn’t been as great as you thought. If you are open to criticism, ask them for advice, “What can I do to improve?” It is sometimes painful to hear, but in the end, you may be glad you did.
- Stay positive. If you didn’t get a raise this time, ask again in six months. If your boss had criticism or advice, take it seriously and do what they asked. Show them how you’ve made changes or improved.
Asking for a raise can be pretty nerve-wracking. However, you’ll gain confidence if you are prepared and ready for feedback. Follow the steps above and go ask for that raise!
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