Wednesday, April 11, 2018
How to Ask For a Raise….and Get It
I am constantly preaching to my readers that they should always be trying to make more money. I know it can be difficult to accomplish that, especially in our current economy. Often we must trade security for compensation which hurts our bankroll. Asking the boss for more money can be terrifying for some. I have seen people go underpaid for years because they were too afraid to ask for a raise. My message to them is this: If you never ask, you will never get. We need to understand that business owners are busy running their business. They often don’t have the time or inkling to think about your pay. Sometimes you have to make them think about it. Today, I am going to show you 10 ways to show your boss that you deserve a raise. Employment should be a give and take. Make sure it is some take or all you will do is give until you are poor.
1) Be a true team player
This one sounds easy but believe me, it isn’t. We all have people that we work with that we don’t particularly like. You may have people you work with that you absolutely can’t stand to be around. Chances are you aren’t the only one so showing that you can work with anyone is important. The inner politics of any organization could destroy you. Don’t let it. Work with everyone, don’t gossip, never choose sides, and focus on the task at hand. Sometimes being a leader means not getting caught up in the muck of daily work life. By showing you can work with everyone you have now shown that everyone can and should respect you.
2) Show some commitment
The average person changes careers over 4 times in their lifetime. No one from upper management wants to invest time and resources into someone that will jump ship. Show the powers that be that you wish to stay there for the long haul. You can do that by going the extra mile but by also developing friendships with coworkers. Become part of social committees, take part in fundraisers and help newer employees become adjusted. By ingraining yourself in your current role, you will show that you wish to advance within the company and stay for the long haul.
3) Document accomplishments
This may sound cheesy, but you must keep track of the value you bring. It can be easy to assume that management knows how great you are. People are caught up in their own jobs and lives and often cannot keep track of each accomplishment. Keep a journal of the times you have gone to bat for others or taken the lead at work. If you are making it happen daily, everyone should know. By keeping a record of this, your boss will know come time for your review.
4) Leave the garbage at home
It is natural for us to tell everyone about our lives while at work. Here is some advice about that, don’t. No one should know about your personal life. This is especially true about the negative parts or parts that could be perceived as negative. What you do on weekends is your business and although you may think that you aren’t being judged on it, you just might be. Coming into work sad, angry, tired, hungover or just plain useless is no one’s problem but your own. I am always puzzled when coworkers give up their whole life story to their peers and management. There is absolutely nothing good that can come of it and in fact, it can harm you greatly. Stick to work subjects and leave some mystery about your personal life. It shows that you are a professional.
5) Take interest in the business
We all have our role at our jobs. By showing that you have some interest in the roles of those above you, you will show them that you are ready to move up. If you genuinely care that the business will do well, you have shown that you are vested in its survival. This should translate into being compensated more for your hard work and commitment. You can show your interest by learning more about the roles of those above you, asking how you can make your superior’s job easier, and taking time to educate yourself on the company and industry for which you work in. Management usually wants someone who is eager to learn and ready to make their role a part of their life. This means putting your heart and mind into your company.
6) Discuss your professional goals
Everyone wants to make more money, that’s simple. What else do you want to do? That’s what’s important. Are you keen on gathering designations? Do you have your eye on a specific role because you feel it fits your skill set better? Do you want to one day become upper management or even partner? Find the right ally in your workplace and discuss your ambitions with them. If you piece together a strong track record along with the desire to further your career, your boss should take notice. Of course, be wary of mentioning how you might want someone else’s job. That would make anyone squeamish and will lead to resentment. Keep it professional and show your boss that you are forward thinking.
7) Act as if
Does the management team wear suits or nice dresses every day? Well, you should too. Do they work through the designated breaks? Try doing that as well. Do they all volunteer on Thanksgiving at the local shelter? Try lending a hand. Act as if you already have the position, or at least act as if you really want it. By showing that you would fit right in as a leader you are showing the transition would be easy. One note of caution is that you need to be careful not to alienate your peers. This will require a delicate balance of standing out while keeping everyone around you happy. It won’t be easy, but if you can stand out while still being well liked, you are in line for a better role and more pay.
8) Time it right
Are you an accountant? Don’t ask for a raise in April. Are you in retail? The week before Christmas might not be the best time either. Don’t choose the busy time of year in your industry to ask for a raise. Ideally, you should ask for one a couple weeks after that busy time. It allows the dust to settle a little bit and management to reflect on who performed well when they needed it most. Also, if the company is having budget constraints or downsizing, it probably would not be prudent to ask then either. When spirits are high, and the charts are moving upwards, make your move.
9) Don’t go all in
I do not recommend phrasing your pitch for getting a raise as a do or die scenario. You never want to tell your boss, “I need to get a raise, or I will leave.” That is unless you are prepared to do that. If you take that stance and do not get that raise you will make your work environment much more difficult in the future. Management will know your words are hollow and the chance at future raises or promotions will be more difficult. Always leave yourself an out and keep the conversation jovial and not negative. You want to maintain the relationship even if you do not get your way.
10) Keep your options open
One sure fire way to get what you want is by having an ace in the hole when trying to negotiate a raise. Look around the industry and see if there is another organization that needs a similar role filled. If someone else will pay you more to do that same job, let management know that. Tell them you want to stay, but the numbers just don’t add up. Give them the option to match your compensation before moving on. If they are not willing to do that then it might be time to go. Remember it is not a lateral move if you take the same pay from someone else with the possibility or future raises. If your current employer refuses to make that commitment to you, it might be time to look elsewhere. The company must look after their bottom-line and you should respect that. You must look after yours and they should respect that as well.
It is never an easy subject to bring up, but it is absolutely necessary. You must receive regular raises if you want to pace yourself with inflation and have your life get progressively better over time. The first step is to make sure that you deserve an increase in pay. The next would be to make sure the powers that be know you do. Some employers will do whatever it takes to NOT give their employees pay increases. Make sure that your boss is not one of them.
“If you pick the right people and give them the opportunity to spread their wings and put compensation as a carrier behind it you almost don’t have to manage them.” – Jack Welch
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