Naturally, you want to be paid what you’re worth.
An automatic pay rise used to be the norm. But, nowadays due to the economic situation, you have to toughen up and ask.
In some industries, such as tech and finance where expertise is rarer, pay raises are still commonplace. But, if you’re in a career that’s quite saturated you’ll probably have a harder time.
It doesn’t mean you won’t get a raise though, all you have to do.
If the sound of asking for a raise daunts you, a little preparation and planning can give you confidence.
Can You Justify a Raise?
First up, it’s important, to be honest with yourself. Are you already paid a great salary for your job? Will you be able to justify asking your boss for more.
If you’ve been in your job a while and have had persistently glowing performance reviews, then you may be in line for a raise.
You can typically justify a raise if you can quantify how much you have made or saved for the company.
Approaching your line manager for a raise will be less nerve-racking if you’re armed with the knowledge of your accomplishments.
Your current salary will also be a factor, if you’re already earning above average for your position it might be a bit tricky.
Knowing Your Worth
You can check the market rate for your position by using a salary calculator like the Know Your Worth™ website by Glassdoor or payscale.com.
You can also look at job postings on the internet and in the newspaper to get an idea of the typical salary for your position and level of responsibility.
As you’re preparing ask yourself:
• What do I do that no one else does at the company?
• How do I meet my clients’ needs?
• What is my unique skillset?
• What problems do I solve for clients?
• What value do I add?
Carefully answer these questions. Use your answers to calculate your worth.
But, most importantly, you need to know your value in your boss’s eyes. If they value you, they will push you ahead.
Know Your Figure
When you ask for a raise, you need a figure to aim at.
Check that it’s justified and the standard rate from your research.
Many people who ask for a raise ask for 10% to 15%.
Plan Your Negotiating Strategy
Negotiation is about getting what you want and what your company wants.
Of course, your company wants to keep their costs low, and once they’ve increased an employee’s salary, they will have made their decision.
If you put yourself in their shoes, you have to think about why it would benefit them to increase their costs to accommodate your raise.
Perhaps you could negotiate for extra benefits or perks instead of a salary raise?
It has to be a win-win situation.
Document Your Achievements
Hopefully, your boss already knows your achievements and accomplishments. If they don’t, here’s your chance to show them the value you bring to their company.
You could bring with you a file of achievements with graphs and tables showing the money you make, and deadlines met.
You don’t have to sound like you’re tooting your horn, make it about them and how you serve the company.
Get The Timing Right
Good times to ask for a raise are when it’s your performance review, when you’ve finished a significant project, and when your boss is in a good mood!
Bad times are when the company takes a financial hit or is planning redundancies.
State your Case
Start with a list of your responsibilities when you started at the company and your achievements since.
Make sure you present your case logically and coherently.
Explain that you’re delighted to take these responsibilities on and happy to take on more. Show enthusiasm for the company and the future of your time at the company.
Then name the number that you have in your mind. Often people don’t give a number but make sure you do.
Leveraging An Outside Job Offer
The thing to remember here is that you get a lot more with sugar than you do vinegar.
If you have a job offer for money from elsewhere, don’t give your boss an ultimatum.
Instead, explain that you’ve another offer, but you won’t take it because you love the business and don’t want to leave. Then ask your boss to level with you regarding your prospects.
This opener will bring you to the next subject – what will your prospects be in the future.
This approach is much better. It’s not threatening or insulting.
Keep It Positive
You must keep the meeting upbeat and positive, even if they come back and say that they already pay you enough
Choose Your Words Carefully
Sound confident about your achievements. Forget about modesty but don’t diminish your value.
Find your voice to communicate your worth rather than channel someone you know who is great at sales or tells a great joke.
If you don’t get an answer immediately, don’t assume you’ve been unsuccessful.
Your boss may be busy and need some time to think. They might also have to get it approved by finance, which could also take time.
Be patient, keep your head down, and wait.
If They Say No
If they say no, don’t get angry and aggressive, find out what you need to get a raise. Then do what is asked of you and ask again.
It’s always asking for a raise, even if you think you won’t get it.
People often don’t ask for a raise because they don’t want to come across as entitled, or greedy.
If you’ve not had a pay raise for a while and you’ve been performing, it’s time to shake the insecurity and get comfortable with asking for what you’re worth.
Remember to communicate clearly and effectively to influence your boss’s perception of you and get what you deserve.