5 Tips for Asking for a Raise

by Miranda Marquit · 0 comments

Most of us agree that we would like to earn more money. However, it’s not always easy to walk in and ask for a raise. After all, you have your career to think about.

If you think you are ready for a raise, and you want to ask your boss for one, here are 5 tips that can help you be more effective:

1. Do Your Homework

The first step is to research. What is normal for someone in your position, with your education and experience, to make? Compare your salary with similar salaries in your area. Locale matters as well as what you’re doing. Be realistic about what you should be making, and know the facts before you go in and ask for a raise.

2. Show Your Value

Now that you know, realistically, what you should be making, it’s time to show your value. You can’t go in and talk about how much you need a raise because you have a family, or you have some other goal. Instead, you need to show your value to the company.

Have you been given extra responsibilities? Did you spearhead a project that did particularly well? Have you increased sales or saved the company money? You need to show that you have done a good job and that you are an asset to the company. Prove why you deserve the raise, and back it up with what you know about other salaries in your area.

3. Make an Appointment

Don’t just spring this discussion on your boss. Instead, make an appointment to talk to your boss. There are theories about when a good time might be. Usually, it’s a bad idea to start first thing Monday, or to have this meeting on Friday. Also, be sensitive to whether or not your boss is in the middle of something major. He or she doesn’t want to be stressed by a meeting with you when there are other work priorities.

Make your appointment, and then come in prepared.

4. Try to Avoid Ultimatums

It’s one thing to walk into your boss’s office with another offer and ask for a raise or you’ll change companies. It’s quite another to threaten to leave when you actually can’t afford to and have nothing lined up. Try to avoid ultimatums since they can foster hard feelings later — especially if you can’t follow through. There’s nothing wrong with doing your research, gathering information about your value to the company and then making an appointment with your boss to say, “I’ve got an offer from someplace else. I’d really like to stay here, and continue this great work I’ve been doing. What can we do?”

5. Consider Alternatives Like Benefits and Perks

Sometimes money isn’t everything. In fact, there are benefits that are just as valuable as a raise. If you can get a more flexible schedule or an extra few vacation days a year, that might be just as valuable as a raise. Consider some of the perks that you might be willing to accept instead of a higher salary. Job satisfaction isn’t always just about the money.

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