There are several key things to consider when asking for a raise. We all feel that we're worth more than those numbers that stare back at us when we open our pay packet at the end of the month, and we know there should be a few extra zeros at the end of it. When it comes to making that a reality, however, you must tread carefully. We live in tough economic times and we're all feeling the pinch, but asking for a raise needs to be handled with care so here are some tips to help you.
1. Your Worth
When you're asking for a raise, think about why you believe you deserve more money. Yes, you have worked very hard and you feel as though you deserve it, but your boss is going to need a little more to run with than the fact you're feeling hard done by and need some extra cash to pay the bills. It needs to be a little more quantifiable. What are your achievements? What have you added to the company? What are your skills? If you think you're being paid less than those in a similar position then this may be something you can also arm yourself with when speaking to your boss.
Make sure you do your research. Be clear about what someone in your position, doing your role and with your experience should be earning. Don't pluck numbers out of thin air.
3. The Right Time?
This sounds a little bit like you're a ten year old and you're going to ask your mom whether you can stay out and play with your friend for another half hour, but assessing the mood of your boss might also be a good idea. If they have just had some bad news about the company's finances, it may not be the right time. Try and read your boss's mood if you can.
4. Make an Appointment
Your plan of attack needs to be considered with military precision. You must be armed with all the relevant information and above all, you must ensure that the person you would like to meet with, i.e. your boss, is going to be there. Making an appointment to meet with them to discuss your request will show your professionalism.
We're dealing with money here so let's be honest, the tactical maneuvers need to be considered carefully. When there is something you want to buy and you're in a position to barter, you're going to offer the seller less than you're honestly willing to pay as you can always go up but you can never go down. The same logic applies to your pay. Ask for more (I'm not talking a ridiculous amount here!) and you can always negotiate down to a reasonable amount so that they feel they have knocked you down, but you know that you have actually achieved the raise you wanted in the first place. It's all about the mind games!
Assess the position of the company and see if your requests are realistic. If the company is going through tough times and making redundancies, then it may not be the best time to start asking for more money. Timing is key when it comes to asking for a raise.
If your boss turns you down, whatever you do, don't start ranting and raving about how you feel unappreciated, overworked and underpaid. Naturally, companies want to save money but they also want to keep good people, so maintain that sense of humour and think about other things you would accept instead of the promotion. Are there any other non-monetary related perks that you would consider, like working from home for a day a week?
If you feel as though you need to move on and know that you would be better off financially elsewhere, then this may be something to consider. Has anyone asked for a raise? How did it go and do you have any tips to share?