Asking for a raise is never easy. It takes courage and confidence to be able to have an honest conversation with your employer about the subject. Even if you have a good relationship with your boss, it can be hard to ask for these things. The best way to ask for a raise is to prepare extensively before scheduling a meeting with your boss, HR or regional manager. Here’s what you should do to be most successful in asking for a raise:
Research competitive pay rates. If you are receiving the median pay for your job and experience level, you may have a harder time asking for a raise. But, if you’re still paid the rate you were at entry-level, or if people of similar positions receive better salaries across the region or state in which you live, you may be able to make your case. Information is easy to find; be careful about which sources you use to prove median pay in your field.
Find out when and how your company negotiates raises. Some companies have standards of pay raises, whether they give them at the end of the year or if they set a standard increase for all employees. You don’t want to ask for special treatment if the company has a policy regarding changes in salary. However, if raises are given on an individual basis, now could be the right time to ask for one.
Make note of added responsibilities or projects you’ve taken on recently. An increase in responsibility may merit a pay raise, even if you haven’t added any more work hours. Added responsibilities or projects means your time is more valuable, and you will likely be working during off-hours, even if your boss doesn’t see it. If you can prove your job has become more demanding, you can likely justify a pay increase.
Schedule a meeting with your supervisor. You don’t want to bring this up at a time when they are busy or unprepared. They will be more likely to shut down your request if you don’t warn them in advance that you are asking for a raise and have created a valid argument for that. They may also need to talk to the HR department or their own boss to find out important details about pay raises. You also don’t want to come across as too aggressive or inconsiderate when asking for something this important.
NEVER threaten to quit or take another job if you don’t get the raise. Employers have heard this argument before, and will most likely be more offended than receptive of your request if you threaten or bargain this way. Saying “This company offered me this much, so I believe I deserve that much from you,” will only dig you further into a hole. Unless you are seriously considering leaving regardless of whether or not you get the raise, this is never a good idea. If you threaten to quit, some employers will call your bluff. They have many more candidates looking to take your job than you will have employers trying to recruit you.
If you’re having trouble negotiating with your boss, and you can’t find a compelling reason to stay at your current job, it may be time to find a new job. Talk to a recruiter today to find the right employer and position for you.