More Money Please
Ahhhh… asking for a raise! This can easily be one of the most awkward things to do, but it doesn’t have to be!
I’ve been on both sides of the fence on this one. I’ve asked for raises, and i’ve been asked for raises. Sometimes I’ve agreed and given them, sometimes i’ve said no without a doubt.
Here are some tips to help you go about this the right way, and have confidence while doing it.
- First up, make sure you know your company policies. If your company only gives raises in October, and it’s August, don’t ask for a raise right now. This just shows your inability to be patient, and even more so, it shows your lack of knowledge in your company contract or employee handbook. DON’T however, feel that you need to wait until your performance review to ask. Often times, employers already know if you’re getting a raise before your review, get your request in early, but not 4 months early.
2. Do your research. This does NOT mean begin asking all of your co-workers how much they make, and making comparisons. You need to be realistic. If you are a receptionist, you are not going to make a lawyer’s salary. This means hop on Google, and research. What does someone in your field, in your region, with your experience, your degree, your workload, and your time with the company typically make? Are you in the range? Are you severely underpaid? Are you above average? You need to know before you go further.
3. Ask yourself WHY you want a raise. (Oh, and be prepared to be asked this question.) If asked, “Sally, why do you think you deserve a raise?” and you don’t have a well thought out answer other than, “um… well i’ve been here a while, and I try really hard at my job… and I do a good job… and I hardly ask of… “ is not a sufficient answer. You need to know WHY you want a raise AND why you believe you deserve one.
4. When answering the above question of, “Why”, here are some things to think about. Before I give a raise to ANYONE, this is what I ask myself. 1. Does this person make me more money? And 2. Does this person improve my quality of life? If I can’t answer yes to both or either of those questions, I’m no longer even thinking about if they are getting a raise or not, instead I am thinking about why the heck they are working for me? Bring these things to the table when asking for a raise. “Last year I sold XXXX dollars, bring in an extra XXXX% profit for our company.” or “I have taken on the new responsibilities of XYZ.” More responsibility= SHOULD equal more money. *However, don’t expect this new pay to come immediately after given more responsibility. Your employer wants to see how you handle the new responsibilities before forking over money to someone who may or may not pull through.
5. Set up a meeting. Do not, I repeat do NOT ask for a raise over the phone, text, email, etc. Set up a meeting and be professional.
6. Come prepared. Can you show when your last raise was and how you’ve improved since then? Do not just ask an open ended question and expect to get what you want. Come prepared, but make this snappy. You do not need some sort of long presentation of persuasion. If you make a good point, your employer is likely to see that.
7. Focus on your accomplishments, and not your finances. This is NOT a guilt trip and if your employer feels like it is one, they are likely to not meet your request. Never use the word “need.” Instead of focusing on why you NEED a raise, focus on why you deserve it. You don’t need to mention that you just bought a house, or that your wife is pregnant, or that you need a new car, etc. Focus on what you do to benefit the company and why you believe that your salary should be increased to reflect your contributions.
8. Confidence counts. If you don’t believe that you are worth more money, you are going to have a hard time convincing someone else that you do. Don’t sit in a shy and underwhelming stance. Be tall, sit up straight, look people in the eye, take up space with your body movements.
9. Don’t make threats. (& if you do, know your boss’s personality.) If you are going in with a, “I get a raise, or I’m out” kind of attitude, you are likely to be shown the door. If you have a better offer on the table, first see what your current employer is willing to offer you. There is no shame in asking for a raise, and there is no shame in taking a better job and bettering yourself if the opportunity arises. But, before you go backing your employer into a corner with an ultimatum, you need to ask yourself, why do I want to leave here? Why do I want to stay here? Is money the only thing encouraging me to leave?
10. Be prepared to hear, “no”. I can’t speak for all employers, but I, being the owner small businesses, WANT to pay my employees well. If I could pay them each a million dollars a year I totally would because I truly think they are awesome and deserve it. With that being said, if a company cannot currently afford to meet your request, don’t take that to heart. The financial health of the company is your employers number one priority, that’s what’s keeping you EMPLOYED in the first place. If you work for a large corporate company, remember that the person saying “no” isn’t always the person who made that decision. Keep in mind that NO doesn’t mean NEVER! It just means, not right now, and it does NOT always reflect your dedication, performance, or your employers appreciation of your hard work.
Have you ever asked for a raise before? How did it go? Leave me a comment below or share this post on Facebook if these tips helped you!