This can feel like an incredibly awkward and daunting task: It’s time to ask for a raise. Your bills are going up but your pay isn’t and your position has taken on more responsibilities since you’ve started, meaning you feel like it’s time to be paid more than what’s currently on your paycheck.
Take a deep breath — you can do this!
Here’s how to ask for the pay you deserve:
Before having the big talk with your manager, do a little research and be ready. Make a list of all you’ve accomplished in the past year, all the ways in which you’ve succeeded. If you’ve led a team or project, write it down. Be as detailed as possible in how you’ve grown and improved. Also do a little research to see how much other people in your position, in your company or others, make and how much a difference there is in pay. Be as specific as possible in your notes because this is the facts-based argument you’ll be using to support your request.
If you don’t believe you deserve more, no one else will. After making the aforementioned list of your accomplishments, understand that your hard work made those possible. Believe that you have proven your worth and that your pay should be reflective of your efforts, initiative and abilities.
If you’ve found a range of salaries for someone in your position, go into the conversation with a number in hand. The best approach is to go higher than you think you’ll get, as your employer will want to negotiate your negotiation. (That’s how this works, after all, and is the same thing you’re doing.) The key is to aim for higher than what you originally wanted, so when the numbers move, you’ll be satisfied. Ask for a specific salary amount instead of a general percentage or idea of how much more you’d like to make. Numbers and specifics are good, solid points and this shows you’ve done your work.
Explain the benefit to your manager of keeping you on.
It’s hard for employers to find qualified candidates right now. You should know that and you should know your manager knows that before you even walk in the door. When you go in to have this conversation (and more on timing in a moment), be businesslike and professional but be prepared to talk about how you, personally and specifically, contribute to the company and your team. Talk about those successes mentioned earlier, the ways in which you’ve been an asset to your team and your company. You don’t have to be so blunt as to risk quitting on the spot if your request isn’t met, but remind your manager that your skills have been a welcomed addition here and that you want to stay here because you like your team. Ideally, your staying means less turnover, a retention of internal and institutional knowledge and not having to train someone else after a long hiring process. One person leaving can kick off a domino effect of departure
Time it right.
Most people think the only time to talk about their pay is during a review. By then, it might be too late! The best time to at least start laying the groundwork for asking for a raise is a few months before your review. This way, you can make your expectations clear and you can have discussions with your manager about your work, your worth and the direction you’d like to go in the year ahead. Asking for a raise outside of the review timeframe also gives you a chance to consider your own options. If you get a good review but less of a raise than you believe you deserve, you can know whether you’re willing to stay for another year before asking again, or if it’s time to start looking for a new job immediately. You should also consider how much of a raise isn’t enough and whether you’d be willing to put in your notice if you are denied. Some consideration should be given to your company’s status as well: If people have been laid off, if business is down or there are other belt-tightening measures taking place, you’re better off waiting. But if they’re reporting record profits or others around you are getting raises, it could bode well for you!
The bottom line is, you’ll never get a raise if you don’t ask for it. Be prepared, be confident and be ready to advocate for yourself!
Staffing agencies like Debbie’s Staffing can help you understand how much other people in your position are getting paid. We can also help you understand whether you’re being undervalued — and if that’s the case, we can help you find a new position with a company who will see your worth! Contact Debbie’s Staffing today and let’s get started.