As anxiety-inducing as asking for a raise is, it’s also an essential next step in a professional’s career path.
Negotiating pay ensures that you’re not being undervalued and reminds employers and yourself of your worth as well as the importance of your development at work.
So, put away any sheepish responses to money talk. You’ve been working hard and deserve it. Here’s a guide on how to present your case and clinch a raise with your employer.
1. Consider whether you’re ready
There are many factors that warrant a raise and it’s vital to consider them carefully before setting up a meeting with supervisors.
Firstly, having a good understanding of the company’s fiscal standing and budget can hint at whether you’ll receive the green light. Take announcements of favourable profits at annual performance reviews and no recent layoffs as positive signs.
Strong reasons for a raise include having exceeded expectations at individual performance reviews or contributed significantly in a big project. It could also be that you’ve been delegated more responsibilities, justifying a better salary.
Other not-so-rosy reasons would be realising that you’re being underpaid or promoted without salary increments.
The lucky few who have other companies knocking on their doors with shiny new job offers may also use those as leverage during their appeals. After all, it costs more for a company to find a replacement than retaining their current employee base.
Generally, the benchmark tenure for when it’ll be appropriate to talk money is after 6 months with the company.
2. Consider how much to request for your current role
Based on the above factors, determine if you’re being paid fairly for your efforts or if there’s plenty of room for negotiation. This will then allow you to estimate how much to realistically ask for considering your current position in the company.
During the discussion, supervisors will likely ask for a quote so prepare at least a ballpark figure or range.
This requires in-depth research on your market value in the industry. Referencing similar job listings on hiring sites like LinkedIn and Glassdoor is also an option.
Glassdoor’s Salary Estimator is a handy tool for a quick and objective comparison with your current salary.
3. Initiating the discussion
After settling the nitty gritty details, it’s time to make your case.
Set up a meeting with your manager or supervisor as soon as possible as this will give time for them to consider the request and go through the necessary processes if you’re successful.
While doing this via email can be as effective, face-to-face meetings are more sincere and better received for such conversations. A simple “I have something important to discuss with you.” or “Will now be a good time to discuss my salary?” would suffice.
At the meeting, it’s important to emphasise the “why”s – clear and compelling reasons for deserving that raise – in a logical manner.
Substantiate these points with concrete accomplishments at the company, quantifiable data like ROIs which you’ve helped achieve and any accompanying feedback. You could also mention new skills, awards or credentials you’ve accumulated since your last performance review or raise.
Being in tune with what you bring to the table also boosts employer confidence and persuasion.
Throughout the discussion, expect to be asked to elaborate on your accomplishments and future plans with the company. Adopt a firm stance on your desired new salary and negotiate tactfully.
Sometimes, a direct raise may escape you but coming to a compromise with your manager is still progress. For this, HR managers recommend getting promised or conditional wage increases down in writing.
Finally, remember to indicate clearly when you’d like the raise to be effective and be easily contactable in case more information or documents are needed. It’s also good to gently follow-up with your manager after a few days or a week.
Above all, be sure to express gratitude and enthusiasm – thank your manager for taking the time out to listen to and consider your request, let them know how much you value your job and remind them of your unwavering commitment towards bettering the company and your professional self.
4. Manage expectations
Now that the hard part’s over, aim to maintain your performance levels and even go above and beyond in your next assignments. After all, it’s how you’ll prove that you’re ready and grateful for a possible new and improved paycheck.
If your request for the raise is approved, double check with your manager and note any fresh expectations and deliverables that are tied to your raise. This could include a broader job scope, more interns to train and higher performance standards.
If your request is denied, don’t get discouraged. Convey your gratitude and initiate another meeting with your manager to discuss a suitable timeline for meeting your goals and desired salary with the company.
Under such circumstances, asking for additional perks like enhanced paid sick leave and permission to work remotely is also worth a shot.
However, if you feel that your efforts are not being adequately recognised and rewarded and don’t foresee attaining a raise in the near future, it may be time to contemplate switching jobs or companies.
Whether your application for a raise gains approval, plucking up the courage to take leaps in your career is admirable and necessary for your personal and professional growth. It can also help secure your future financially and propel you towards meeting your financial goals.