You Deserve a Raise! Here’s How to Ask For It

No matter what sort of job you’re in you will, at some point, have to ask for a raise if you ever want to see a higher number on your paycheck. While some companies are good at giving yearly raises for work well done, others make you ask for it. Money is never an easy subject, especially when you’re asking your boss for more of it. Here are the necessary steps to take to make sure you finally get the raise you deserve.

Tell yourself you’re worth it. It may totally sound like a L’Oreal commercial, but you need to convince yourself you’re worth what you’re asking for before you can get anyone else on board with the idea.

Make a list of your successes. Have you managed to cut expenses with your awesome ideas? Brought in a new client that made the company mad bank? These are the type of things you want to put down in a list and so you can point them out without missing a beat.

Know what your assets are. Your assets are different from your successes, but just as important. Are you the person that clients prefer to work with? Are you an over-achiever who hasn’t had a Saturday off since you walked through the door two years ago? You want to highlight what makes you such a great employee, an irreplaceable asset to the company, and a star who stands out from the rest.

Do your homework. Take time to do extensive research as to how much other people in your position are making. Consider how many years you’ve been at your job, what city you live in, and how much of yourself you’ve given to the company. You want to have a clear figure that isn’t too high or too low.

Choose a good time. If the company is struggling, that’s a perfect example of a bad time to ask for a raise. Depending on your industry, there might be other times that aren’t very appropriate, like the end of the calendar year or right before tax season. Bring up your wages only when things are on the upswing.

Make an appointment specifically to discuss your salary. However you have to make an appointment with your boss – directly with him/her or through their secretary – make sure you’re clear about what you plan to discuss. You don’t want to totally take them by surprise, because that’s a low move. You also want them to have time to mull it over a bit, too.

Present your case. This is where you pull out those lists you made and start from the very top. Don’t leave anything out.

Stay professional. In other words, don’t be petty. You don’t want to compare what you’re making to what others in the company are making. If you start off with, “Well, Emily just got a raise, so I think I should too…” you’re literally kissing your raise goodbye. Also, you’re not 10 years old, so don’t act like it.

Aim high – but not too high. This doesn’t mean that if you’re making $40k you should suggest $100k, but at least go high enough that you have something to work with, like say, $50-55k, if you’re already at $40k.

Be willing to negotiate. If your boss comes back with a figure, even if you like what they offer, still allow yourself a bit of negotiation. You don’t want to seem like you’re willing to immediately take what they’re giving. I mean, you have a whole list of reasons why you deserve a damn raise!

Don’t throw a fit. As the Rolling Stones sang, “You can’t always get what you want,” and those dudes were totally right. If the raise you get is way lower than planned or you don’t get one at all (which is pretty rare and a d-bag move on the part of any boss, especially if your case was solid), don’t cry and threaten to quit. Calmly thank them for their time… then head straight to the bathroom three floors up so you can scream out, “FUUUUUCK!” at the top of your lungs.

Have a back-up plan. Before you even go into your meeting, you should already have a back-up plan for your next move. If things don’t go your way, will you quit? Maybe try again in three months? Whatever the case may be, know ahead of time so you don’t do something impulsive in your anger and disappointment.

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