Before you ask for that raise…

Q: I would like to ask my employer for a raise as I feel it is deserved, but I am a little apprehensive to ask. Any advice you can give me?

A: It never hurts to ask for a wage or salary increase if you feel you deserve it and especially if performance reviews or increases are not conducted routinely. However, you need to make sure you are prepared before you enter into a meeting with your boss about a raise, as your boss will probably be prepared for discussions and may have questions for you.

The first thing you want to consider before setting up that meeting with your boss, is the timing of your request. If your employer recently had a lay-off, now is probably not the right time to ask for an increase. If the company is looking to cut costs, your job may be under review as well, so you may want to wait before asking for a raise.

If you confidently feel that you deserve a pay increase, try to start by sharing your worth to your employer. Obviously, businesses judge much of their progress in numbers and revenue. If you can share with your employer how you have helped increase sales or perhaps how you have saved the company money through your efforts and equate that information into dollars, it will make for an easy conversation.

Perhaps a number is not a simple way to evaluate your hard work or your worth, then you need to share other efforts and accomplishments you have made within the company. Communicating how you have taken on new responsibilities, managed new projects or exceeded expectations, should also be factored into your discussion.

Follow-up your accomplishments by discussing your performance and impact on the company; the reason you feel you deserve the raise. However, do not express to your boss that you need a raise due to a personal reason such as buying a house or expecting a baby. You also do not want to express negativity by stating you know someone in your department makes more than you, or that you haven’t had a raise in a long time. You want to focus on the positive nature of your contributions to the company.

Practicing what you are going to say may sound meaningless, however, this will help prepare you to answer any questions your boss may ask you and to address any issues that may arise during the conversation. Rehearsing can provide you with confidence and provide an alternative direction to where a negative discussion may go.

Have a plan and goals within the company ready to share. Discuss your future during your meeting and how you will contribute to the success of the company; show that you are fully vested into their future. Talk about what you like about the company and a position or department you would like to pursue in the future.

Be prepared to hear “no” to your request. With that answer, do not express anger or defeat, but instead ask for feedback and any recommendations that can help you succeed in your current position. Suggest scheduling a follow-up meeting to review your progress. This will express your commitment to your future and your dedication to the company.

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