Excelling at your job often comes with extended responsibilities, but that doesn’t always mean an automatic pay increase. Instead, you may have to initiate the conversation with your manager to lay out why you should get a raise and how much you expect. You may not always get a yes, but there are a few things you can do to improve your odds. Here are our top five tips on how to ask for a raise no matter what industry you’re in.
1. Focus on What You Deserve, Not Need
When it comes time to make the case for a raise, don’t focus the conversation on your finances. The argument for a raise should be based on your merits, not the reasons why you need the extra money. Your boss won’t be impressed by talking about any financial downturn you’ve had recently, even if it wasn’t your fault.
Instead, talk about the value you add to the company and outline any new responsibilities you’ve taken on since your last raise. These are the types of things that can showcase you as an asset to the team and can help you get the pay increase you deserve.
2. Research Your Position’s Market Value
When wondering how to ask for a raise, be as strategic as possible. Instead of pulling a random number out of thin air, do some market research on what comparable positions in your area earn. There are a couple of different ways you can do this.
One way is to look at online review sites like Glassdoor, where people actually submit their salaries by job type. This gives you an idea of what other companies pay for the same job. Just make sure you don’t look at positions in larger cities since that can skew the numbers due to the cost of living. The second way is to look at job openings that are similar and see the current hiring range.
3. Practice in Advance
Get your spouse or close friend to help you prepare. It doesn’t matter that they won’t be able to replicate the conversation exactly as it will likely pan out. What matters is that you rehearse what you want to say to your boss beforehand. Go over each question and talking point and discuss what you could have said better or shouldn’t have said at all.
Don’t try to memorize exactly what you want to say. Instead, just remember key phrases. If you try to memorize a giant speech, you’re going to sound robotic and it will appear as if you are extremely stressed. You want the opposite of that. You want to seem calm, collected, and confident.
4. Time Your Request Strategically
You can’t ask for a raise any time you want and expect success. To better your odds, wait until after you’ve completed a big project (or whatever your job’s equivalent is). We’re not talking basic job description stuff. It has to be bigger than that. It should be a high-stress situation that required your extra effort to run smoothly. Wait for something like this to pass so that when you walk into your boss’s office, his or her first thought should be “key player” before you even utter a word.
Essentially, be as indispensable as possible when you walk into your boss’s office.
Another time to ask is when your company does performance reviews. Raises and promotions will already be on your boss’s mind, so it’s the perfect time to ask. Just don’t expect to receive a raise even if you deserve one. You should always ask and push the envelope. Many bosses won’t give raises unless pushed.
5. Ask for Feedback
No matter how well you position your ask, sometimes you’ll still receive a “no” response. If this is the case, don’t despair. The best thing you can do is to ask for feedback from your boss. Find out how you can improve in your current role and let him or her know that you’re interested in developing your career further.
This can set you up for a pay raise and even a promotion later on. Sometimes asking directly and letting people know your intentions (plus your commitment to the job) is the first step in asking for a raise.
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