Asking your employer for more money isn’t just a sticky subject. It’s also scary and stressful, whether you’re negotiating your starting salary or asking for a raise. However, if you feel the value you provide for your company should earn you a raise, then it’s time to speak up. Here are some ways to do so effectively while maintaining professionalism.
Tip #1: Time It Right
To maximize your chances of getting a raise, you have to time your request right. Most companies give raises once a year, though that’s not true across the board. Find out when raises are considered at your company. That might be the end of the calendar year or around the anniversary of when you joined the company. Your annual review is usually too late to get the ball rolling because decisions have been made by then. Count backwards by a few months and make your request then.
Tip #2: Know What You’re Worth
It’s important that you know what the going rates are for the kind of work you do. Being able to compare your position to similar ones at other companies can give you leverage when it comes time to talk to your boss.
Tip #3: Understand the Value You Provide
More than just knowing where your salary falls within your field, you need to know what kind of value you provide for your company. This is the meat of your argument and the part that’s most likely to win your case for you. How, specifically, does what you do benefit your company? What responsibilities do you carry? Which projects or teams are you an integral part of? What knowledge and skills have you acquired that would take someone else a lot of time and effort to learn? Points like these will help you show why you’re worth keeping around.
Tip #4: Be Straightforward
The specifics of how you broach the subject will depend on your manager’s personality and preferences. However, the best tactic is usually to be straightforward. You might open by explaining how you’ve grown or taken on new responsibilities since you were hired or got your last raise. Then tell your boss what you’re asking for and why. Draw on the information you put together based on tips 2 and 3 above. Many people make the mistake of assuming their boss knows all of this already. However, it’s rare that a boss knows every detail about what each employee is responsible for and capable of. A gentle reminder will help make your case.
Armed with these tactics, your raise request should go a little more smoothly. Good luck!