Even though these are tough economic times, you can still ask for a raise at work, especially if you are well qualified for one. I’ve found that many of my friends and colleagues won’t take this step for fear of rejection or because they are uncomfortable with confrontation. The thing is, asking for a raise should be anything but uncomfortable. It’s essentially you telling someone (a.k.a. your boss) how hard you’ve worked, the goals you’ve achieved, and your plans for the future.
It’s an exciting time that could lead to big rewards, so I recommend taking it all in and enjoying the exercise. Remember, even if you are turned down, your boss will be aware of your willingness to improve and your hopes for the future. You never know when the next opportunity is around the corner, and having a meeting like this will put you at the forefront of your boss’ mind when that chance comes knocking.
While I can’t promise that each and every one of you will secure a well deserved raise if you ask for it (some companies have specific policies about these things), I can assure you that by following these five steps, you have a better chance of getting one whether it’s now or in the future.
1. Ask At The Right Time
Many companies simply can’t grant raises at the end of the fiscal year, so make sure you ask at the beginning of one when more funds are available. Also, keep in mind the stresses of your boss, if you know them. If he or she is going through a difficult time, it might not be the best time to ask for a favor. If they always meet with their boss on a specific day and are more stressed than normal, stray away from that time too.
2. Actually Schedule The Meeting
Once you have assessed the right time to ask your boss for a raise, now you have to actually schedule a meeting. Asking for a raise is a delicate matter that should definitely be discussed in a formal setting. While it might be easier to pop into their office and ask quickly, having a sit down will show that you are serious and on board for future projects. This will also give you and your boss time to prepare. You can always explain that you want to ask him or her about ideas for the future if you’re looking for an excuse to hold the meeting without letting on what it will be about.
3. Ask Using Your Attributes, Not Your Needs
Many people fall into the trap of asking for a raise when they really need it. For example, they might be going through a difficult time financially or perhaps want to take their kids on vacation. Bringing up issues or hopes like these will detract from what you are trying to do, which is to highlight your own skills and expertise. Always list your qualifications for a raise. Never pull the sympathy card. You’ll gain more respect this way and hopefully, more of a chance of getting what you’re hoping for.
4. Keep Detailed Records
Detailed records are so important if you want to ask for a raise. This might showcase research you have done, meetings you have attended, and extra activities you participated in. Having these documents and presenting them in a highly professional way will make a positive impact. Think of it like a resume, except you are simply listing what you have already done.
5. Be Gracious
If you boss gives you a raise, be sure to thank them graciously and professionally. However, if you are turned down, be gracious about that too. Ask for recommendations on what you can do for the future, and don’t hesitate to inquire about a good time to meet to discuss the same topic again.
Ultimately, I hope these tips can help you to get that raise you’ve worked so hard for. If you have other suggestions, I’d love to see them in the comments!
photo by davidleesf