If you dread the idea of asking for a raise, you are certainly not alone. Many people worry about having to discuss their pay, and they often feel lost as to the best way to do it. You have the ability to ask for a raise successfully. Use these tips to prepare you to ask for a raise and get one.
Prepare in Advance
Asking for a raise requires a lot of advanced planning so that you can clearly and accurately present your case. Know the job market well for your position. Plenty of resources, including the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, have information on average salaries. Ask around discretely for a more nuanced picture. You also want to prepare for the right time to ask. After your annual review or after an exceptionally big accomplishment is the best time to ask for a raise. Some companies have guidelines for when someone can receive a raise.
Approach your meeting with your boss by putting together a list of concrete reasons why you deserve a raise. Try to quantify those reasons as much as possible, especially in monetary terms. You can include percent over sales goals, the number of new clients you brought to your firm, the number of mentoring hours, or specific leadership positions you take. Be specific about your projects and how indispensable you are from your company.
Keep it Professional
Do not dress in casual or business casual clothes. Instead, dress for the pay or position you want. Take the effort to look nice and keep the conversation on professional topics. Avoid discussing personal problems. These do not influence your manager’s decision. Likewise, it is unprofessional to bring up other people’s salaries as part of your negotiation. If there is a disparity based upon a legally protected class, such as race or gender, do follow up with human resources to ensure you receive equitable compensation. Keep that separate from a performance-based raise.
Maintain a Positive Disposition
Avoid negative language that seeks to blame the company or your boss. Managers want to view raises as a way to help your career and incentivize your work, not as a way to alleviate a personal wrong. You are an investment for the company. Be firm in your ask but maintain your focus on what you have done for the company and what you will continue to do. One way to avoid a negative confrontation when you ask for a raise is to ask sooner rather than later so that years of negative feelings do not build up.
Asking for a raise can seem extremely difficult, but these tips can prepare you for your big ask and make the conversation a little easier. Once you have your new raise, you will be glad you did.