I know asking for a raise can be hard and can give you a severe case of the worries, but it is vital for your path of success to push yourself out of your comfort zone. What you make at your current job will dictate what you make at your next and so on. However, asking for a raise is not something that you merely do over and over when you want more money. You need to think carefully about what you are asking for and avoid making some terrible mistakes that would hurt your chances in the future of asking again.
Do Your Research
The first thing you need to do even before you send that calendar invite to your boss does your research. Before you ask for a raise, find out what is the actual industry standard average salary. Tools such as Glassdoor, “Know Your Worth” tool, or Indeed searching for salary specific positions that are close to yours allow you to understand the earnings of your particular area and your specific industry.
If you find that most people in your field are making substantially more than you, then presenting hard data to your manager is a great place to start. On the flip side, if you do not go in prepared with numbers and research, you will come off as unreasonable and slightly immature.
Take On More Responsibility
Another thing you can do before asking for the raise is setting up the groundwork with your boss. If you’ve been in your position for over six months, have an open and honest conversation with your boss and say while your priority is to achieve in your current role, you are looking towards the future and want to make sure you are doing everything you can to set yourself up for success in the future. You can ask for recommendations on skills to learn, certifications, etc. to keep yourself on the fast track to getting that raise.
Taking on more responsibility and communicate your wins are both great strategies in asking for a raise. Handle all of your tasks for your current role and then start trying to solve the problems that the future promotion you will be taking on. Ask the person in the position higher than yours if there are any extra projects you can assist on. If you are making great strides in your current situation, don’t keep it a secret!
Every time you exceed expectations on a project, let your boss know, in a humble way of course. Once the meeting is set to talk about your future and salary, you won’t need to try to prove it to them. You will have been doing that from the beginning. We aren’t talking about changing the coffee filters as a significant accomplishment, but I’m sure you knew that.
During the Meeting
Be emotionally intelligent when deciding the right time to talk to your boss about the raise. Bosses are after all people, and people have bad days and personal issues. If you notice he or she isn’t acting like their usual selves, or perhaps have a large budget meeting to prep for that day, schedule a different time. Be patient and understanding because they will see that compassion and reward it.
Once you are ready for that meeting, present a short but intelligent case. Most people think you need to walk into the meeting room with a substantial multi-slide deck with pie charts, pivot tables, and eyewitness testimonies. However, in actuality all you need to say is something like this:
“I truly appreciate all of the opportunities you have given me for more responsibilities, such as X, Y, and Z. I have been getting great results in those areas over the last X amount of time and exceeded expectations. Could we speak about adjusting my salary to reflect this higher level of contribution?”
You Might Not Get It
And lastly, prepare to be told no. Do not be discouraged by the word no. Prepare emotionally and ask for an interim performance review. Define your goal – getting to the next level in your career- before you following annual report. This communicates how seriously you take your job, and possibly gives you the increase sooner. The worst that can happen is you are told no, but either way, you will learn the valuable lesson on how to advocate for yourself and understand your worth. Always remember, you will never get anything you don’t ask for!