Asking for a raise is never easy, even when you deserve it. And when it comes to getting what you want, experts say it’s all about timing.
“In a review of your work is a good time, but not always the best time,” says Richie Frieman, author of “Modern Manners Guy, for the Quick & Dirty Tips Network”
Being prepared is also important. Joel Garfinkle, author of “Getting Ahead: Three Steps to Take Your Career to the Next Level,” says you should spend as much as four to six months getting ready for the discussion.
During that time frame, he recommends noting all the reasons you deserve more money. “Be aware of all you have accomplished so that you can present how valuable you are to the organization,” he says. “Remember, your accomplishments are the currency you use to calculate your value."
During the work-up period, Mark Jaffe, president of executive search firm Wyatt & Jaffe suggests doing something memorable to merit a pay hike. Some of the ways to achieve that is to consistently over-perform and do quality work, gain the trust of your boss and stay away from office politics and gossip.
It also helps if you are willing to take on the tough or unpleasant tasks and execute them “brilliantly,” he adds.
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When listing your contributions, give clear examples. For instance, if you are in sales, show how much your sales numbers have increased over a set period of time. “When you can prove how you make them money, they will be more likely to pay you more,” says Frieman.
Before scheduling a meeting, Garfinkle recommends finding out the company’s standards and expectations when giving out raises. For instance, does the company have a budget for pay raises, what type of percentage increases have been given previously and how has the company been performing recently, are all things to consider, he says.
Asking for a raise usually ends up being a negotiation, which is why you want to have a range as to what you are willing to accept. You don’t want to go into the talks without a clear idea of how much people in the same role and same industry make. In addition to that number, have a lower figure in your head that is acceptable, says Frieman.
While your review is the most common time to ask for a raise, Friedman suggests you wait until after the review and in a separate meeting. Delaying it shows you had time to take in all the information during the review. What you don’t want to do is give your boss an ultimatum.
“When you tell your boss, ‘If I don’t get a raise, I’m leaving,’ you better be willing to do so,” says Frieman. “Even if you are willing to leave, do you think your boss would want to keep someone that is always looking into the company’s pockets or else they’re out the door?”