How to ask for a raise

How to ask for a raiseHow to ask for a raise – Knowing how to negotiate a raise is a great tool in this tough work environment, know your worth and go get what you deserve

It’s a tough climate out there in the working world right now. The last few years have seen cut back after cut back, corporate surges to increase productivity and profit by squeezing every ounce of work from their drones and a result of people actually being thankful for clinging to their jobs. This is unfortunate indeed and gives the large companies and corporations a very strong position of power over their workers. It creates the belief that if you quite they would just fill your pot in a heart beat.

If you have a job that you work hard at, perform well in and get on well with superiors and colleagues then you really need to rethink this position. They can’t just replace you, in fact in these hard times they may well need you more than ever. If the company is still making profit due partly to your hard work then it may be time for a raise.

How to ask for a raise, things you should consider

Asking for a raise is quite a scary task. I have done it three times in my career and have been successful all three times. The first time it was off the cuff, unorganised and emotional, it was pure fluke that they wanted to keep me on enough to give me a raise despite my unstable approach to asking. Since then I have realised that organisation, assertiveness and actually deserving a raise are the keys to at least coming out of the situation unscathed and hopefully with some plan to up pay or benefits.

Learn the procedures

If you work for any company that has a management structure of any sort then it is likely they have a procedure for handling employee’s asking for a raise. It’s a common thing they have to face so supervisor’s and managers have to know protocol. The first step may be downright refusal so you have to know how to approach the situation. If you should arrange a meeting, should it be done during a performance review. Some companies may only ever offer raises once or twice a year and percentages may be across the board so you may not be eligible even if deserving. The bigger the corporate lab you work in the harder getting an individual raise may be. Just read the manuals, books, and ask colleagues who have had raises in the past (don’t ask them how much or what they earn, this can cause tension) to get as much info as you can.

Work out the answer to the question “do I deserve a raise?”

You obviously feel like you want a raise but what is the reason? Is it because you want to be able to buy xbox 360 games every month or go on a vacation to Australia next year or is it because you genuinely feel you work harder than your pay grade and go beyond the call of duty to perform your job and improve your company? If the answer is in favour of the prouctivity and development of the company then you may deserve it.

At this point you also need to list your achievements and get some well laid out documents together. Use some fancy charts to illustrate your work effectiveness, pin point goals you have achieved and anything that shows how the company actually needs you.

Make yourself indespensible

If you realise you may not be deserved of a raise but you want one anyway then it’s time to up your game. This isn’t instant but it may well be worthwhile. Adjust your attitude towards the company and start organising your days to be far more effective. Think up ideas and improvements for the company and start arranging meetings to present them to your boss. Push for an increase in productivity from those around you too and work heavily on team work. If a new system or piece of equipment comes into the work place be the first to volunteer to learn to use it so you become the go-to training person and take any opportunity for education that your employer offers. Simply make it that losing you would cost far more than a silly little raise.

Work out what you should be paid

Asking professional associations, consulting the web and looking at job ads will give you some ballpark figures. Your own company may even be hiring for similar positions so if you can find out what pay they are offering too that helps. Knowing how much everyone else in your line of work pays gives you great bargaining power.

Prepare a meeting and then set a date with your superiors

You have your list of reasons you deserve a raise, you have industry figures for your pay grade, you are a very important part of the team and you know the company can offer you a raise (by policy). Now is time to set a meeting. Don’t rush it just send an internal mail to your boss or approach directly if that is the way things work in your office. Choose your words carefully. State you want to discuss your role, productivity and how it works in relation to your pay. Fluff the words and gently deliver them, don’t scream for more money! keep calm and understanding, work with their schedules but be firm if they sidestep the request and keep at it until a meeting is scheduled.

DON’T – Use another job offer as a ransom for a pay raise!

DON’T – Threaten to quit if you don’t get a raise.

DON’T – Tell everyone in the office you deserve more for what you do.

DON’T – Say you want a raise because you need more money to live a better life.

What is the request for a raise is refused

If your well organised and justified request for a raise is refused you first need to calmly find out exactly why. It is your right to know and if they don’t give you some info then it may be a sign to move on anyway. If it’s for budget reasons then you may consider asking for more benefits or even less hours. Working from home is always an option too which may enable you to reduce travel and childcare costs a few days a week and possibly increase productivity for them even more (with less hours for you, trust me it’s possible!).

If they have a no-raise policy then you need to find out when the raise is allowed to be offered and how you will qualify for it.

It may also be time for you to start looking for another job. At this point I suggest you may no secret of it and kindly inform your superior that you are looking if you are confident one will be found soon. If not then keep it quiet. Just don’t blab to co-workers or start bad mouthing the company. It takes many bridges to cross to get your perfect job and it’s never worth burning any of them.

It may be time to also cut back to regular hours and don’t do anything extra without pay associated. You can still be more than productive in your allocated hours but think about turning your outside of office hours priorities away from work towards friends and maybe even your own home business ideas to generate extra income.

Whatever happens it’s a good exercise in self assertiveness and self worth. Both positive traits to work on. You will learn from any mistakes you make and be in a great position to ask for a raise again sometime soon or in your next job.

What tips do you have to get a raise?

17 thoughts on “How to ask for a raise”

  1. Definitely think you need a thoughtful and genuine answer for if you’re asked “Why do you deserve a raise?” Often, they might not even realize how valuable you are until you alert them to everything you’re doing and all the effort you’re putting in.

    Also, the “indespensible” point is a great one…do everything you can and take on as many tasks as you can (including the ones no one else knows how to do) and they are going to realize they need to accommodate your financial needs.

    Awesome stuff Forest.

    1. Absolutely Andrew, your superiors are often so busy themselves they just don’t stop to think, just making them do so may make them see what they are missing!

  2. As part of my preparation, I would keep a file of my accomplishments. I would remind my boss periodically and look for ways to take on a bigger role within the company. I think my should recognize my effort before I even ask or I should leave.
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  3. I have asked for raises before. Ironically, both times the raise was already in process, so it went quite well. However, I was always prepared with why I deserved the raise. (It was somewhat easy for me because I was responsible for bringing in quite a bit of revenue, so it was easy to quantify.)

    I always laugh when I watch old shows, and someone would go to the boss for a raise because they were having a baby or some other life event. Could you imagine doing that now??
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  4. This is some great advice. I’ve never been in the position to ask for a raise before (as I havent gotten any), but I’m hoping that I’ll be able to ask sometime later this year. I am going to make myself a ‘lynchpin’ as possible and make sure that I keep tabs on everything that I do. If I dont, my supervisors may or may not remember the things I’ve done/been working on, so they may see me coming out of nowhere for a raise.

    1. Hey Roy, you need to really get yourself ready and have some demands if you deserve them…… Good luck in improving on this but be realistic.

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