5 Expert Tips to Help You Get a Raise at Work
Most of us have been there before, suddenly realising that since you’ve started in your role you’ve come quite a long way, contributing your valuable time and hard work all the while showcasing your loyalty to the company - and, yes, you feel you deserve a raise. When management fails to recognise this, however, the responsibility comes down to you.
While it’s true that asking for a pay increase at work can be a little intimidating, taking the time to prepare yourself before jumping in is all the more likely to get you what you want.
Here are five expert tips to help you get the raise you’ve been hoping for at work.
1. Consider the right time to ask
It can be hard to gauge the appropriate time to ask for a pay raise, but if you take the time to consider the best time to ask, not only will you thank yourself for it but your employer will likely be that much more willing to consider your proposal.
That being said, a few things to ask yourself before setting things in motion include:
Is the company in good financial standing?
First and foremost, before asking for a raise it’s necessary to take a step back and consider whether the company you’re working for is doing well, or if it could be doing better.
If you’re not sure what signs to look out for, look for telltale signs that your company may be cutting costs, such as cutbacks in spending (i.e. travel expenses or complimentary office items), or if there’s talk of potential redundancies.
On the other hand, if the financial health of your business is in good standing, we recommend you still do a little company research, such as taking a look at financial reports, so that you can use the relevant information when you eventually speak to your manager about a pay increase.
How is your manager’s workload?
While your manager’s workload shouldn’t directly affect your asking for a pay increase, if you notice that they’re particularly stressed out and perhaps spreading themselves too thin, you may want to take a beat and wait for things to calm down so they have the time and mental energy to put the best case forward to senior management.
Is this the best time to ask?
Consider what time of the year it is and whether a pay increase is likely. For example, in some companies, if it’s in the middle of the fiscal year, you may be better off waiting until the end of the year when upper management is making plans for the new fiscal term. (This may also give you a chance to see what new opportunities may arise, only adding credence to your asking for additional compensation if you’re looking to take on additional responsibilities).
Every company is different, so ask around and find out if there’s a specific time of year when salary increases and staff costs are decided. That doesn’t mean that you can’t ask outside of that window, but it’s worth being mindful that your raise could be delayed until the appropriate time.
How have you contributed to the company recently?
Most importantly, before asking for a raise, consider what kind of impact you’ve made in the company recently. Have you taken part in any significant projects, exceeded your targets, or completed a few noteworthy tasks for your team?
If so, then you likely have a good argument for salary negotiations.
2. Have a Number in Mind
Asking for a raise also means making plans for your future in the company, and as such, you won’t want to walk blindly into a meeting about your salary.
Compare current salary trends and local job adverts for your role with what you’re currently getting paid, and judge whether your desired salary is within a common range for your position.
If you’re not sure what to ask for, however, a general rule of thumb is to ask for anywhere from 10% to 20% more than your current salary. However, don’t undercut yourself and ask for less than you think you deserve - the worst they can say is no!
3. Know Your Value
It’s so important to be confident when asking for a raise at work, so it’s a good idea to write out your accomplishments - with specifics - to drive your point home.
While your manager may know what you do on a daily basis in a broad sense, they won’t necessarily know what you’ve done in particular that warrants a solid raise.
After all, if you don’t believe in your value and workplace contributions, who will?
It’s also a good idea to review any professional qualifications you’ve achieved or are currently working on (with us, for example!) to demonstrate your commitment to your career development and the business as a whole.
If you’re not currently taking any career development courses, it might make your case even stronger to do your research on a few that might impress your employer while also progressing your career.
4. Schedule a Meeting
Once you’ve pinpointed the right time, your desired salary, and have your accomplishments on hand, it’s time to set up a meeting with your boss!
If you’re not sure how to approach the subject, you might want to send a brief email that says something along the lines of:
‘Hi [manager’s name],
I’m hoping to set up a brief meeting with you to discuss my career progression as well as my compensation with the company in the next week or two. If this suits you, please let me know what time works best for you.
Quick Tip: Approach this meeting with the same level of preparedness as you would a job interview. Remember, you’re a valued employee, and you deserve to be compensated as such.
If you’re looking for more tips on exactly what to say during the meeting, Indeed.com also has some great suggestions.
5. Wrap It Up With a Bow
Once you’ve gone ahead and taken the plunge, taken the meeting, and made your negotiations, it’s likely that your manager will need to take some time to consider and further discuss your request with upper management.
At this stage it’s important to be patient; however, no matter how the meeting goes, it’s a good idea to follow up with an email the next day thanking them for their time, recapping your reasons for asking for the raise, and summarising the key points of your conversation.
If, after all of your efforts, you still feel that you’re not being compensated fairly, it might be time for you to look for a job elsewhere - one that not only pays you well but perhaps has any additional benefits and security you may need.
We hope this blog has helped give you some useful advice for negotiating and getting that long-awaited raise at work.
Good luck, and don’t forget - you’re worth every penny!
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