It’s difficult to ask a boss for a raise. Many people worry that their boss will reject them or that asking for a higher wage will be cause for termination. However, according to an article from The Atlantic, 44% of people who ask for a raise get the amount they’ve requested, and 0% of those surveyed reported getting fired for asking.
While no one reported being fired, the existential terror that accompanies asking for a raise persists nevertheless. We asked our experts to weigh in on best practices when seeking higher compensation.
Be Worthy of the Raise
Even if you’re a dedicated worker, your boss might not realize you deserve a raise unless you prove that you do. If you’re planning on asking for more money, you have to show that you’re worth the extra pay.
The best way to prove your worth is by amassing examples that show your value. Phil, a hiring expert at Merck & Co. Inc. explains, “I would recommend going into the discussion as prepared as possible - be ready with numbers for folks that are in positions similar to yours in your area with comparable levels of experience. Be able to show your worth and value to the company - did you lead any cost-savings projects? Were you part of any key departmental initiatives? Being able to differentiate yourself in the marketplace and being prepared in advance with numbers that are grounded in current market value will help you to be confident when entering this discussion and better position you for success.”Ref Link Wait for the Financial Cycle While it’s possible for you to obtain a raise any time of year, it’s much more likely to occur at the start of your company’s fiscal cycle - when the past year’s figures are properly accounted for and there’s probably more money to go around. As Sylvia, a hiring expert at HP Enterprise points out, “Most companies have [financial reviews] annually, and some may have them more frequently throughout the year.” However, “Raises don't just come when the cycle hits, your performance and ability to lead the team to their goals is what determines your raises or bonuses.”Ref Link
Unless you’ve recently taken on a new job title or more responsibilities, it’s probably better for you to wait for the start of the year before talking to your boss about a raise. However, if you absolutely cannot wait, Sylvia gives the best way to warrant a raise any time of year: “Speak to your manager to gain feedback on your performance and about taking on more responsibilities to warrant the raise.” If you take on more job duties, you’re going to be seen as more deserving for more money.
Put in the Research
Amy, a hiring expert at Textron Inc., explains that when walking into a meeting to discuss a potential raise, “First and foremost, do your research! Make sure you have a clear understanding of the salary ranges for someone who works in a similar role/function as well as the ranges based on the job’s location. Also, take the time to practice your pitch - and anticipate questions.”Ref Link
Ultimately, raises are based on merit. If you think you deserve one, it’s highly probable that you do, and you shouldn’t be afraid to ask. However, when you do ask, make sure it’s at the right time, and come prepared with both research and a highlight-list of your performance. If you follow our experts advice you’ll put yourself in a better position to come away with a more desirable result… and more money.