Asking for a raise isn’t easy for anyone. It’s hard to know what to say or when you should say it. It can be awkward asking for more money, and the whole conversation is more than a little nerve-wracking because the answer may be a no.
The truth is, in most cases, it won’t ever happen if you don’t ask. It’s important to take pride in the job you do and make sure you’re compensated fairly for it. In addition, a raise could mean paying down debt faster than ever before. However, how do you know if it’s the right time? Here are some questions to ask yourself before asking for that raise.
How Long Have I Been Employed with the Company?
Consider how long you’ve been at the company and how long you’ve been in the position you’re currently in. A year is probably best. However, if after six months you think you’re not earning your potential, ask for a raise. Be sure you’re armed with information and reasons why you deserve the raise.
When Was My Last Raise?
If you last negotiated your salary two months ago, it’s not the time to ask for a raise. Many companies give yearly performance reviews with raises, so if you’ve recently had one or have one coming up soon, you should wait. Generally, the cost of living in America goes up 2-4% each year, and if you’re lucky, you work for a company that gives at least that in a raise during those annual reviews. However, if you haven’t had a performance review in more than a year, ask for one.
How Is the Company Doing Financially?
Ask for a raise when the company is doing well, but be cautious of asking for a one when it’s having financial difficulties. If your company is going through layoffs or a hiring freeze, and you find yourself doing the job of two people, it’s appropriate to ask for a raise. However, you don’t want to sound insensitive to the company’s financial problems. Express that you understand times may be tough, but you’re doing much more work and should be compensated appropriately. Consider this stance thoroughly before you ask for a raise. You should be certain that the company won’t look at this as an opportunity to restructure your position.
Am I Worthy of a Raise?
What makes you worthy? Besides doing your job well, are you exceeding expectations or merely meeting them? If you’re not going above and beyond, you’re probably not going to get a raise that goes above and beyond either.
If you’ve taken any classes or extra training that benefited the company, or you’ve taken on any added responsibilities, then you’ve added to your value with the company; thus, you should be compensated for it. If you’ve recently completed a big project successfully, it’s a great time to ask for a raise.
Do My Coworkers Make More Than I Do?
This one is tricky because most people don’t want to discuss what they make with their fellow employees. Companies don’t like employees discussing how much they make either, and this is why. Don’t tell your boss you deserve a raise because other people have gotten them. Beware, you may find that you’re earning more than your coworkers are and realize you shouldn’t ask for that raise after all.
Is My Salary Consistent with Market Worth?
Find out the market worth of your position. Knowing what other people in your field make for the same job helps you understand what you should be getting paid. Get details for your geographic area. After all, a manager at a shoe store in Boston may earn a lot more than a manager at a shoe store in a small Midwestern city. If you fall below the average, it’s reasonable to ask for a raise.
Now that you’ve concluded that you deserve a raise, how do you go about getting it? Some say you shouldn’t ask on a Monday, and you should ask in the morning before hitting that afternoon sluggishness. Whatever day or time you choose, before you talk to your boss, you have to get ready.
Get in touch with your inner boy or girl scout and be prepared. Get the stats, the proof to back up your claim that you do, in fact, deserve that raise.
If a project you completed earned or saved the company money, find out exactly how much. Include in your numbers how many years have you’ve dedicated to the company. If you’re responsible for a department that handles millions of dollars in accounts for the company, show that. Get the numbers that help demonstrate your responsibility with the company and show how important you are to the success of the business. Gather a list of all your accomplishments, your updated job description, and the average salary for your job in the area (but only if the average is higher!). If you go in there with all this proof that you’re a fantastic employee, how can your boss possibly say no?
Plan for Rejection
Unfortunately, with all your amazing statistics, your boss may still say no. What will you do if your raise is rejected? You don’t want to be at a loss for words, so make sure you’ve put some thought into how you’ll react if your request for a raise is declined. Getting angry and storming off should be off your list of reactions. Instead, ask what you’d need to do to earn a raise in the future, and when you could expect it to happen. Then, follow through with it.
Alternatively, you can choose to look for a new job. If you don’t get a raise, maybe it’s time to look elsewhere for an employer that’ll pay you what you’re worth. On average, people who quit their current jobs can earn 15% more at their next, so maybe it’s time to move on to greener pastures.
Asking for a raise shouldn’t be uncomfortable. You do a job, you do it well, and you should get paid what you’re worth. If you’re too afraid or intimidated to step forward and ask, you’re only losing money that you’ve worked so hard to earn!