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How to Properly Ask For a Raise and When You Should

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Featured Image: The Little Magpie
Article By: Formosa Latina

You’d probably think that a salary raises should come naturally or at least without having to ask your boss, who’s supposed to know all the hard work you’ve put in.

Well, sorry, my friend. I also thought that I’d never had to ask for a raise and the years I’ve dedicated to my job should make it happen automatically.

The truth is, it isn’t that hard, and a raise doesn’t happen because no one is on top of how much each person gets paid. There are so many things going on in each company that a raise is never on your boss’s mind. Of course, it’s easier when you have things to prove it, such as years on the job, targets achieved, job performance, etc. Asking for a raise is an awkward thing to do. Sometimes, it feels like asking for a favor, but it isn’t, and you should never feel bad for asking.

So how should you do it?

First, the same confidence we have when stating our opinion and standing our ground when it comes to our work projects should be the same for when we’re going to ask for a raise. But careful, you want to do it with confidence, not cockiness. 

You’ll want to first:

Calculate how much of a raise you need and how much you think the company can offer

Do this 3-4 month before the company’s budget planning. Verify how much is in the current budget according to the company’s sales performance and how much you think the company will be able to increase in salary and offer a suggested budget recommendation. Reality is that you’ll be ahead before your boss says: “I’ll have to check the budget first.”

Be real and conscious

You don’t want to ask for an extreme increase just because you’ve worked so many years in the company, the amount of time you’ve worked in the company doesn’t entitle you automatically to a company raise neither. It does help to state the fact that on the results and achievements while you’ve been in the company. Therefore, you can start the conversation with “In the time I’ve been in the company, I’ve achieved or exceeded x targets…”.

Request a project review meeting instead of a one-on-one

It’s easier to slip the “by the way, after reviewing all the increased responsibility I’ve managed on this project, I think I could…” after the end of a successful project review. Timing is key to this conversation. Don’t wait for your year-end review to discuss this with your boss.

Evaluate your current job position and think about changing

Believe it or not, changing job position can sometimes change your pay raise situation. Whether it is changing to a job within the company or outside, if you believe you’ve learned it all in your job and you’re willing to switch to another one, it can be a job conversation starting point with your boss to help evaluate your current salary. Especially if you’re in charge of many responsibilities and your boss needs you on the job.

Explore other options outside the company

It’s not bad to check what’s out there. We’ll always think the grass is greener in the neighbor’s yard. But it also means to be ready to have another job offer before talking to your company about pay raise if your mind is set on this goal and you are not willing to compromise. If your company is aware of your leverage, they should offer you a raise to stay. Otherwise, be ready to change to another job where you’ll get better pay.

Discuss with your HR partner

If your company provides an HR partner, talk to your HR partner. They can help ease the stress you might have and guide you to the ways the company can increase your pay raise via other performance review or other alternative evaluation methods they may have.

Be natural

Again, your job is a commercial transaction between your company and you. It’d be the same as when you purchase a product at a store, and you need to request changing the product, you do it nicely by stating why you need to change it. Same applies to your salary; you should state to your boss nicely by saying: “as my job has evolved, I’d like to know the chances of an increase…”.

Be flexible

It can happen. Companies may be tight on budget for quite a time, and you may need to change your salary situation or job situation, and if pay increase is not viable at the time, you can negotiate other benefits such as job schedule flexibility, family health insurance (for those not applicable), etc. Make sure to negotiate a win-win situation with your company.

Of course, none of these tips make the process less daunting. No recommendation is 100% fit for everyone. We sure hope this helps to make the process easier.

Have you asked for a raise at work before, how did it go? Comment Below!

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