There's nothing wrong with asking for a raise, especially if you do your job well. However, it's important for your financial future that you take things seriously when it comes to asking for a raise. Don't just walk right into the boss's office and ask for more money. Instead, read these tips first to give yourself a better shot at snagging a bigger paycheck.
Build Your Case
One of the first things you should do when you plan to ask for a raise is to sit down and think about your accomplishments at work. List off any awards you've been given, accounts you've landed or sales you've made since your last raise. Are you the first one in and the last one to leave at your office? Have you made yourself available outside of normal work hours when necessary? Think of any situation where you've gone above and beyond for work. Make a point to remember these things so that you can include them in the conversation once you go to ask for a raise.
Get A Salary Survey
Many companies like to gauge what others in the field are making before giving out raises. That's why it's helpful to use a salary survey to determine how much of a raise you should ask for. These surveys use information about an employee's experience, credentials and responsibilities to determine what people in similar positions in the same geographical area are currently making. There are numerous websites which can help you do this or you can hire someone with more experience to do it for you (human resources professionals are a great resource if you want to learn more).
Check Out Your Company's Budget
Do you know if your employer can afford to give you a raise right now? If possible, get your hands on the budget to see if there are any extra resources which could provide the kind of raise you want. In some cases, it's better to wait a few months until more money is available. The same goes for layoffs – if you company is currently letting some employees go, it's probably a bad time to ask for more money. When your employer isn't feeling as strapped for cash, she may be more willing to consider that raise you want.
Plan Your Pitch
Once you've done your homework and looked at your own work history and the company financials, it's time to create a pitch that you can give your boss. You won't want to talk for more than a few minutes, but you do want to give yourself plenty of time to cover the necessary information. The pitch should focus on two things – your personal performance at work and the market data that proves your value in your chosen field. Basically, you want to show your boss why you're an asset to the team and explain why you deserve more for the work you do.
Make An Appointment
When you're ready to talk with your boss, make sure to set up a time in advance where you can discuss the matter. Communicating via email to set up the meeting is usually fine, depending on your office culture. Setting up a meeting will signal to your boss that this is something that requires his full attention – this isn't the type of issue that you should casually knock on his office door about. Plus, it'll limit the chances of you walking in at a bad time or getting interrupted during your meeting.
Providing specific numbers is critical for making it clear to your boss what you're worth when giving your pitch. There are two parts to this step. First, use specific numbers and statistics regarding your work. For example, it's better to tell your boss that you've increased sales by 8 percent in the last quarter alone rather than simply saying you've increased sales. Second, you need to be specific about what kind of a raise you want. If you give your boss a number to work with, it's easier than just walking in and saying you want more money. Instead of saying “I'd like a raise,” say “Based on my work, I believe I deserve a 5 percent raise.”
Prepare To Negotiate
You may not get the first number you ask for. In fact, you may not get a number at all. Maybe your employer will try to offer you other benefits instead, like more vacation days or the option to work from home once a week. Basically, you may want to ask for just slightly more than what you think you could get so that if your boss does bring down the number, you'd be happier with your results. Also, think about what other benefits are worth to you as opposed to a bigger paycheck.
Don't Give Up
If your boss says no, that doesn't mean that the raise won't ever come. Instead of walking away, ask what you need to do to get that raise. If your boss is vague, ask her to be more specific. If you get the feeling that a raise isn't in the near future, start looking for another job where you'll have options to move up in the company, at least salary-wise.
Asking for a raise can be intimidating, especially if you've never done it before. But if you do deserve one based on your work performance and the market value of your job, there's no reason to hesitate. The bottom line is that if you use the tips listed above, you'll put yourself in the best position to get the raise.