How Not to Ask for a Raise
It’s a new year, and you would like to be making more money. But there is a right way and a wrong way to ask for a raise. Here are some tips on what you should do and not do when the time comes to ask for your money:
Don’t ask too soon or too late
If you started the job two months ago, it is way too soon to ask for a raise. Generally speaking, you should be there six months to a year before you first ask for a raise, and in many business, you should wait a year. This depends upon the individual company, though – some firms have specific performance plans where people get raises at set times. Get the sense of the lay of the land of your organization before proceeding.
On the other hand, you don’t want to wait too long to ask for a raise. If you have worked at a job for two to three years or even more and have not received a raise, it is long past time to ask for one, especially given that the increasing cost of living has actually lowered the spending power of your salary during that time.
You could also ask for a raise when your job responsibilities significantly change or increase, like when you get a promotion.
Do your homework
There are a couple of figures you should have at hand when you ask for a raise. The first is average salary for your position in your industry. This can not just give you a framework for what to ask for, it is also a figure to tell your boss about when negotiating for more money.
The second is actually a variety of figures, which can show how much you are worth to the company’s bottom line. If you can do so, show how much your ideas and hard work have increased sales or productivity, reduced costs, or brought in new business. Or come up with some tangible ways of showing why should get a raise. This will make a better impression than asking for a raise just because you want one. Instead, you will show why you deserve one.
Don’t ask for too much or too little
Think of a reasonable amount in your mind for a raise. You don’t want to ask for too high a raise – you will simply tick off your boss. But you don’t want to ask for too little, either, and sell yourself short. Exactly how much you should ask for depends upon your individual situation, and your company’s policies. In addition, you might want to wait for your employer to give you a dollar figure for your raise first for you to make a counteroffer. For all you know, they may want to give you a bigger raise than you might have initially asked for!
Don’t ask for a raise because of personal issues
Maybe you are in debt, or getting married, or buying a home. And you need more money. But don’t ask for a raise with this as the reason. Frankly, your personal life is not your boss’s concern. If you merit a raise, it will be because you are a valued employee who is contributing to the job; not because you would like money for a down payment or to get out of debt.
Don’t get mad at your boss if you don’t get a raise
You would be surprised to hear how many people lose their temper with their managers if they don’t get a raise, or don’t get the raise they wanted. As if yelling at the boss will get him or her to agree. So no matter what the outcome, act like a professional. If your boss won’t give you a raise, it could mean a variety of things. It could be that your company does not have money to do so. It could be that you need to work harder. Or it could be that your office doesn’t appreciate you, and you need to get a new job. At any rate, be a grownup, no matter what the outcome.