Asking for a raise is not as easy as running into your manager at the water cooler and mentioning that you’d like to be paid more for the work you do.  Choosing the right time and being prepared can make all the difference when asking your boss for a pay raise.

Preparing to ask for a raise starts long before you feel you deserve one.  Ask your supervisor what the criteria is for advancement and the things he believes would warrant a promotion or pay increase.  When it is time to ask for that raise, you will have something tangible to reference.

Know the market value of your job. Network with your peers at other companies or use salary comparison websites to get a feel for the average salary of people in your position.  For assistance in benchmarking the compensation range for your job, check out our article titled What should your Compensation Requirements be?

Acknowledge your training and experience. Any training you’ve received as an employee and the experience you’ve gained while working at the company add value.

Consider what approach to use with your boss. Is he the kind of person that will be impressed by an aggressive sales presentation highlighting your desirable attributes and contributions? Or would he be most affected by a relaxed data-driven presentation?

Timing is key. Asking for a raise right after you complete a big project or right after you’ve decided to take on more responsibilities will seem more justified than if business has been slow and you’ve had a lot of free time around the office. You must also consider your timing regarding the company. Have there been layoffs in the past few months? Are you aware of any cuts in the budget recently? These might be indicators that the company is not unwilling, but unable to give you a raise.

Don’t spring this on your manager. Take the professional route and set up a meeting. This shows not only professional courtesy but will allow you a few days to prepare yourself.

Don’t wait until your evaluation. While this might seem like your best opportunity, most companies actually decide what they are going pay their employees before they enter into evaluations with them.

Have a number in mind. Before the meeting, factor in competitors’ salaries and your own experience and attributes to arrive at a specific amount you think you should be paid. Don’t make your manager guess what you want to be paid. Being forthcoming will show you are confident and that you believe you deserve this raise.

If you are turned down, ask your manager what areas of your work performance you would need to improve in order to obtain a raise. Asking for a raise can be an intimidating experience, but that shouldn’t shake you from going after what you want and deserve. Being prepared and planning ahead can put you in a great position to ask for and receive that raise your company has been putting off.

Written by Katie Fidler

Investing in a Lifetime of Success,

Angela Roberts


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