How To Ask For A Raise
It used to be the norm for employees who were doing well to get raises if they were with a company for a while. They were annual at many companies. That trend has vanished in modern times, though; numerous employees in many different sectors cannot remember ever having received a raise.
There is a good chance you are working a job where you can never get a raise. But maybe you are in an industry where raises still happen, even if they are less frequent or regular. Perhaps you have checked salary averages and discovered that for a person with your level of competence and experience, you are being underpaid. How do you ask for a raise without getting fired?
If your company actually does routine salary reviews, consider waiting for the salary review to propose your raise.
That way you are not springing it out of the blue on your manager. There are other times to consider it though, such as when the company is doing very well, or when you yourself have accomplished something prominent.
Brings facts and figures with you.
You can’t just show up at the meeting and say, “I’ve been doing really well, and I deserve more money.” How have you been doing well? Has your work directly impacted the company’s bottom line? Prove it with numbers. After all, you are talking about numbers, and you need to show the value you are bringing in is worth a higher price tag.
Check the national averages for a person working in your position with your level of experience.
That gives you a ballpark number to aim for. Make sure you ask for about 50% more than you are actually shooting for, because the employer will negotiate down.
Take on extra responsibility, but not too much, unless you are aiming for a promotion.
Performing beyond your job role usually will result in being handed more to do, not just a larger paycheck. Or worse, you’ll be given more to do without the promotion at all. If there are no openings to promote you to, you won’t have any mobility, just more work.
Never, ever give your boss an ultimatum.
It may sound reasonable from your point of view. After all, if your boss doesn’t appreciate you, why shouldn’t you quit and find one that will? But this puts your boss in a defensive position, and makes you look unappreciative and unreliable. The boss may think you are on the verge of quitting, may fret about filling your position, and decide that replacing you will actually be less trouble, since odds are you are going to up and leave anyway. Think about how you feel about needing to cultivate options—and then realize that the company faces the same uncertainties. Handling these situations with care prevents escalations.
Before you ask for a raise, always consider the company’s profile and the way raises are (or are not) handled. Some companies do raises routinely, while others do not give raises to certain types of employees at all. Asking for a raise in a situation where you are never going to get one is only going to result in you being fired (in that situation, you should either be seeking promotion or a new job). But if the company does do raises, see what you can find out about their raise procedures. Find out what worked for other people by casually inquiring. This will help you take the best approach with the company you work for.