Let’s paint the picture, you’ve been at your job for a while now. Things are going well. You’ve taken on some special projects and your superiors are noticing. You start to think, it’s time for a raise. Panic sets in. How do you approach the conversation? What if they say no? What if they laugh? Then you think, “I know, I’ll wait until they bring it up. They have to notice what I’m bringing to the table.”
News Flash, if you wait for your boss to offer you a raise, you could spend months losing out on a higher paycheck. If it takes six months longer to be offered a raise, that money adds up. If you feel that you’ve paid your dues and gone a step above in your role, go ahead and ask!
Deciding how to ask for a raise can be incredibly nerve wracking but that shouldn’t hold you back! Here is my advice for how to navigate asking for a raise.
First and foremost, when do you bring up the idea of a raise? Do not expect an increase in your paycheck for doing the bare minimum that your job asks. Also, do not waltz in after one moment of praise and demand more money. A raise comes when you continuously shine in your role. When you have been a resource for your team and step up outside of your normal responsibilities, that’s when[RT1] .
Next, arm yourself. Do not just say you go above and beyond in your job, bring examples. Be prepared to provide specifics about your growth in your role as well as those additional tasks you’ve taken on. Tone is extremely important here. Showcase these examples but do not complain about any additional work. You should be in this meeting because you’re happy but want to be fairly compensated. If overall, you are not happy, that is a different conversation.
Also, do your research. Come to the table with a number that is fair for your position, in the market you work in. These days, pay transparency is huge. There are so many online resources that provide guidance on salary. Glassdoor.com is a great resource. We all want to be millionaires but we need to be realistic. If you ask for a number that is unrealistic, your boss may quickly become uninterested in what you have to say.
Lastly, prepare for a no. You’ve done all this preparation and you’re told not at this time. How do you handle it? First, take a deep breath and do not get upset in front of your superior. Do ask what steps you can take to get to a place where a raise is possible. Hopefully, your boss can provide clear goals to help you get that raise. If there is not a clear explanation for the lack of a raise, knowing that you have earned it, think about your next move. Unfortunately, the way businesses operate, we often see our highest raises occur when we switch companies. Looking for a new position may be your best bet at making more money.
Have you decided you’re ready to have this conversation? Set up a meeting with your boss. Make sure to schedule it on their calendar. If you catch her/him off guard, at a busy moment, it likely won’t be a productive conversation. Remember, asking for a raise is a normal part of growing in your career. Do not be afraid or feel out of line for asking. Get out there and good luck!