It’s been a while, and you are feeling unappreciated at your job. It seems that you live from paycheck to paycheck just making the bills on time. You have worked for your company for a few years now and have not seen any increase in salary. Does this sound familiar? Why does it seem like some of your co-workers can buy new cars, or new homes, and have that pep in their step that seems to be missing from yours?
If it is time for you to ask for a raise in pay and you just don’t know how to approach the situation without sounding pathetic, anxious, desperate or just plain sick and tired of your low pay, here are some tips that may help you get just what you deserve.
What are you worth?
The first thing you want to be armed with before you walk into your managers’ office is information on what you are worth. You must do the research for these numbers. Your value will be based on:
- experience in your field,
- and the amount of education that you have achieved in comparison to your peers in the same positions.
Going to your manager without the proper data to present to him/her, is like turning on a blender with nothing in it. It is a lot of noise.
If you are not prepared with what you are worth and what your expectations are in the form of a concrete number, you will spout off things that you did not intend to say when approaching them. You may even possibly aggravate the situation by mentioning your co-workers and their pay business. This is a no-no. Never mention another member of the team when you are in talks with your boss about your salary.
Go to google.com and type in Cost of living calculator, or compare my salary from city to city. This is a good starting point for you to see what others are making in your field.
Get a Feel for Your Boss and Your Office
Do you know your bosses’ personality? Is he/she a numbers person that must have the data in hand, or do they have a more person-to-person relationship with the team?
What has been going on around the office lately? Has your boss been happy and stress free, or is he/she running around trying to figure out why your team is not meeting their quota?
These are some of the things to look for in your bosses’ personality before asking for a raise. Also, pay attention to the feel of the office.
- The personable/subjective boss will be the one that looks over your contributions in addition to your data and make his decision based on your hard work.
- A numbers boss will be more concerned with the bottom line of the company and may give you a rejection if it is not the right time to ask for a raise.
- Timing is your friend. Do not ask for a raise you see that there have been layoffs and pink slip gossip running around the office. You do not want to be put on that list if it has not happened to you.
Usually every year, before we entered this economic meltdown, employees expected a yearly raise, and when the holidays came they were also looking for some sort of bonus from their employers.
Now that the economy is on a slow up-tick, certain fields, such as technological, medicine and corporate are back to giving up a little more salary.
Avoid the 3 C’s
- Condemn or
Your boss will immediately be turned off if you walk into their office with an attitude like they must give you something. They are not obligated to pay you more than what you were hired to receive. Coming off arrogant to your boss when asking for a raise is not going to get you a dime.
Instead: Focus on your strengths, attributing the boss’s contribution in your growth (this is not brown-nosing/sucking up). Bring up how you appreciate what he has taught you and now that you have learned more responsibility that you would like to be paid per you level of knowledge, if it is possible.
Don’t remind your boss how much work you have been doing. He/she knows. Since the layoffs, you are still there so you must be doing work of more than one person.
Instead: Recall that you think that cutting cost by not hiring someone else to do a job that you could do in addition to the job you were hired for leaves room for you to get a raise when money is coming in again. Your boss will love this idea.
Don’t play the personal problems game with your boss. Everyone has problems, including your boss. This will make you sound whiny and desperate.
Instead: If you have a desperate situation at home. It is best to explain this to your boss and see if you can get a company loan instead of using your problems to get a permanent raise. He will respect you more.
Try this: Before asking for a raise, get all your work in a portfolio. As you build the company portfolio of your contributions, send some things to your boss’s email address as a reminder of accounts you have closed, places that you have cut costs etc. if you do this for 6 months, by the time you are ready to approach your boss for a raise, he will be ready and so will you.