One rather delicate aspect of career advancement is having to request a raise every now and then. Unfortunately, there are many managers out there that have no intention of ever offering their employees more money, regardless of how hard they work. Should you find yourself working under such a manager, you are going to have to take the matter into your own hands.
You are going to have to come up with the right things to say, you are going to have to get the timing right and then you are going to have to pounce. Regardless of whether you like the idea or not, under some managers, doing so is the only way that you are ever going to get more money for your hard work.
If you are currently in the process of building up the courage to make your move, there are a few important questions to ask yourself first. If you can come up with the right answers, your chances of success will be greatly increased.
Do You Deserve a Raise?
First off, why the hell should they give you a raise? If your performance in recent months has been questionable to say the least, you are not going to be getting a raise regardless of how eloquently you request one. Therefore before attempting to negotiate a raise, you need to do two things. You need to make sure that your recent job performance indicates that you deserve one and you need to be able to prove it. General adjectives such as hard working and effective are not going to cut it, you need a list of specific accomplishments that you’ve made.
Will You Deserve a Higher Raise Next Month?
The best time to ask for a raise is often after you have completed a particularly long project or a particularly difficult task. It is of course during these times, when your value to the company is most apparent. Therefore if you are expecting to achieve something significant within the next few weeks or months, it is probably a good idea to hold off until that time.
Is Your Boss in a Good Mood?
Remember that when you are negotiating a raise, you are not going to be speaking to a robot. The person that you are negotiating with is going to be a human being just like you, one that has good days and bad. You don’t want to ask for a raise from someone who is having a bad day. Don’t put off the task for weeks on end but you should choose your time carefully. You will want to avoid asking him when he is busy with something, is stressed out about something or is simply in a bad mood.
Can Your Company Afford to Give You a Raise?
It’s important to remember that at times there is more at play than just your performance and your bosses mood. It doesn’t matter if you are the perfect employee and you absolutely deserve a raise, if the company you are working for is having financial problems, chances are you are not going to be successful. This point has never been more important than now as more and more businesses are facing an uncertain future. Should your company be experiencing such problems, you should probably put off requesting a raise until things are a little sunnier.
What’s Your Market Value?
It’s important to remember that you’re highly unlikely to be offered a raise significantly above what the market average is for somebody with your skills. You should therefore do your research and understand just what most people with your skills are getting paid. Check out nationwide salary statistics and ask anyone you know that does the same job as you what they are getting paid. Whenever you negotiate for a raise, you need to understand what sort of figure is a reasonable request. Asking for too little is pointless and asking for too much is likely to be just as counterproductive.
Are You Prepared for a Counter Offer?
Although you certainly don’t need to be an expert negotiator, you do need to be somewhat strategic. While your aim will be to get the largest raise possible, your boss will want to do the opposite. If you have been doing a good job, he will of course want to keep you around, but he will want to pay the lowest price possible for the privilege. You should therefore expect a counter offer. You can best prepare for it by asking for more than you are actually expecting to get. If you want a twenty percent raise, ask for thirty percent.
What do You Really Want?
Although the most common type of counter offer to receive when asking for a raise is a smaller salary increase, counter offers come in many shapes and sizes. Perhaps, you will be offered a more flexible schedule, the option to telecommute, or maybe even some more vacation time. You should prepare for these possible offers by deciding whether they are acceptable to you, before you are offered them. For some people, the only raise they are after is the financial kind, for others, a few weeks off would be very difficult to turn down.
Are You Going to Lose Your Temper?
Finally, when you have built yourself up to ask for a raise and you finally do so only to be turned down, it’s very easy to take the news rather badly. It’s important to remember however that just because you are turned down now, that doesn’t mean you won’t get a raise in the future. There is no reason why you cannot regroup, change your strategy and broach the subject again within a matter of weeks. If you lose your temper however, the game is very much over.
Sebastian is a financial advisor who gives information on how you can make your boss give you a raise as well as offers fundraising jobs on his website.