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Asking for a salary raise is hard. Navigating through the perfect way to ask your boss and actually nail the meeting is hard.
But, not asking for a raise means you won’t get one, or will get them only when your boss decides to give you one.
Your raise is your business. Whether we believe it or not, a part of the reason we work (even if we love our job) is for the money. Leaving it to chance just isn’t an option.
Certainly, you’ve been at a point where you felt underpaid. I’m not talking about you overspending and needing more money. I’m talking about truly working hard and knowing you deserve(d) more than you are/were getting in salary. Chances are you’re probably in that job right now or you know someone who is.
When we are in this position, we build up resentment and eventually want to leave the job. But, have we ever simply asked for a raise? That may be the solution to the problem.
Now I know some of you will have reservations about going in and asking for more money. Asking your boss for more money can be intimidating. While we don’t want to look like we’re all about the money, there is definitely a fine line between looking greedy and proving your value.
To prove your value is to show how your work benefits your company. Asking for a raise in that case is completely appropriate. What many of us fail to think about is that asking for a salary increase is essential to our career growth potential.
The truth is you should be asking for raises like it’s your job…because it is.
No one really tells you that part of the game when you enter the workforce. But, we are in the business of creating a greater income stream for ourselves.
That’s precisely why we willingly paid tens of thousands of dollars in student loans and got that awesome paper degree to show for it, no? We all want to feel like we’re successful and many times that means we are paid well.
Asking for a raise is good practice for getting what you want or at least close to it. If you don’t ask, then the answer will ALWAYS be no.
Many people sit at a job for years without asking for a raise in salary (queue in the movie, Office Space). The ones who don’t ask are really doing a disservice to themselves and if you are one of them, it’s time to reconsider your methods.
I’ve worked full-time for about 12 years and I’ve been passed up for raises a few times…because I didn’t ask for one. While I worked hard, I never thought of “boasting” my accomplishments. In my culture, you never talked about what you did, you just did the job in silence and hoped it would somehow show.
Let me be the first to tell you, this strategy doesn’t work. If you aren’t telling your boss about your work, they’ll rarely find out.
Often times, they are so busy, they don’t have time to dig deep and discover your accomplishments, especially if they have several staff that they supervise. They’re probably also assuming that you’re content with your current status because you are silent.
Secret # 1: Confidence
How do I ask for a salary raise? What if they say no? What if they think I’m just in it for the money?
These questions honestly go through everyone’s mind and make them second-guess and doubt their abilities to get an increase in salary.
Self-doubt not only makes you nervous, but it also knocks down your confidence, an element that is crucial to your success and makes getting a raise possible.
Plain and simple, if you go in to that meeting with self-doubt, your weakness will be worn on your sleeve, and your boss will take notice.
It will take the edge off of your request, and they’ll soon be second-guessing the notion as well. You’ll go in expecting to fail and you’ll be right.
After all, Henry Ford said it best, “Whether you think you can or whether you think you can’t, you’re right”.
Secret #2: Know your “Why”
Now that we’ve covered that you need to be confident, here are some tips to get you ready for the meeting.
Jot down at least 2-3 ways how your company will benefit or has benefited from your work or ideas. Make sure you give them a strong “Why” when you ask for more salary.
Here are some possible “Why’s”:
- You solved X,Y,Z issue.
- You updated a process, making tasks more efficient.
- You’ve recently taken on more duties.
- Your reviews exceed expectations.
Giving them a “why” is not boasting if you do it correctly. It needs to come off as a value to them and not an arrogant mention on your part. It needs to show your hard work and care for your position.
Secret #3: Know your salary scale
How much should you ask for?
Check out your company’s policy for salary raises. How often and what range of percentages do they offer to their existing employees? Typically, it’s about 3%-10%, depending on the industry and your company’s budget, it may be higher.
Secret #4-Prepare for a possible No and what to do next
Sometimes, the answer may be no. Find out their reasons for saying no to your salary raise and be cooperative and not demanding.
Ask if there is a possibility of a raise in a few months or if there is something they require from you first, get to work on that right away.
This initial meeting will at least help keep that door open for the next opportunity where you can ask again. So, don’t take your No and be disappointed. Instead, look for the information you got in the process.
There is no doubt that we all should be diligently asking for salary raises every 2 years or so.
I had to learn the hard way that a salary raise is not simply given. It’s earned, requested, and achieved, in that order.
Asking for a salary raise is not an easy task. But, with these tips, I hope it helps you have the necessary mindset to go out there and ask for more money.
We all need more of it, but only some of us actually ask for it. Those are the ones that enjoy their increases.
Until next time my frugal friend,