Top Do’s and Don’ts When Asking for a Raise
Work. Sometimes we hate it. Sometimes we love it. Whether or not we love punching that time clock five or more days per week, it is the norm for most people. While punching the time clock is seen as a blessing by most people, for some, it is a drudgery, especially if a worker feels that he is being paid less than what he is worth.
When an employee begins to feel underpaid – even only a bit underpaid – he feels undervalued. This is when he knows that it is definitely time to ask for a raise. How should he go about asking for that raise, however, without sounding demanding or arrogant? How can he ask for a raise humbly but not cowardly? Below are the top do’s and don’ts that every employee should follow when it becomes time to muster up the courage to ask for that well-deserved raise.
Don’t Go in Unprepared
You want a raise. That’s not a bad thing. It is, however, a big deal. You should treat it as such. Don’t approach your boss simply knowing that you want a raise; know also the reasons that you deserve a raise.
People respect hard work and order. Therefore, devise a plan of action that is likely to help you get that raise. Determine what you have been doing that makes you deserving of a raise. Put together some solid evidence that you are worthy, and give clear reasons why you should be the recipient of a raise.
Many people research what they are going to say long before they approach their bosses. This is a good strategy. Also, even if you are a good speaker and are excellent at the art of persuasion, practice makes perfect. Don’t approach your boss planning to wing this conversation; it could be over and you could be dismissed from his office in 10 seconds flat, which brings us to the next tip: don’t be arrogant.
Do Practice Humility and Not Arrogance
You are an employee. Keep this in mind even if you are a darn good one. Remember your position in the company so that you won’t get arrogant. Arrogance can ruin a good business relationship. You want to be seen as someone who is easy to work with.
That said, go after what you want and need, but do it in a professional manner. Yes, you work hard. Yes, you do the work of 10 men. And yes, if anyone in the company deserves a raise, it is probably you. However, this is no reason for you to be defensive or proud in your arguments.
When informing your boss of all of the glorious reasons you deserve a raise, keep a cool tone and a relaxed demeanor. Pay attention to your body language, ensuring that it is neither aggressive nor nervous, and try to keep the conversation authentic by being yourself.
For example, if you often smile when fondly remembering your accomplishments and your bosses are familiar enough with your personality to know this, go ahead and smile when the opportunity presents itself. Smile the entire time, if that’s who you are. If you aren’t the type to smile, however, don’t bother. Simply remember to keep the conversation serious but light.
Don’t Ask for a Raise Simply Because Times are Tough
Life gets hard sometimes. However, you must remember that life will often have its challenges. There will often be things happening in your life that are hard to deal with, but that doesn’t mean that you should ask your boss for a raise.
We get it. When we’re financially going through, we want to feel like the people we work our butts off for give a darn and are willing to help out. However, helping us with our personal lives is not part of their responsibility. Sure, we can talk to people outside of work or on our lunch breaks and allow them to sympathize with us, but we have to understand that caring can stop at sympathy and that no one is obligated to do us any favors.
Mortgages. The cost of caring for new babies. Unexpected bills or injuries. Unfortunately, that’s life. However, these are things that one can plan for. But if you know that these expenses are coming up and aren’t able to plan for them, you should seek to obtain more income streams to cover the costs. Remember that at the end of the day, your personal life is your responsibility, not the company that employs you.
Do Be Worthy of a Raise
Managers – especially the big bosses – love seeing that their employees are self-sufficient. Nothing is more impressive than being able to do your job well. If you are gearing up to ask for a raise, make sure you are in a favorable position to do so or step up your game so that you’ll surely be taken seriously.
Are you someone who goes to work and simply does the bare minimum to get by? If you are a person who gets by by the skin of your teeth, chances are your bosses aren’t going to look favorably upon you.
However, if you are an employee who reliably gets to the job on time and pushes out amazing, competitive work, you are probably making an impression and making yourself more valuable to the company. Bosses want to keep anything and anyone who provides them with value. Ensure that you are someone worth keeping before stepping up and asking for a raise.
Don’t Ask for a Raise at the Wrong Time
There is a time for everything. That said, don’t ask for a raise when your company’s sales are in the toilet. Ask yourself, “Even though I’ve been working hard, is the company in any position to pay me more?” Sometimes using common sense will keep your request from being denied.
Pay attention to whether or not your company has been doing well. If they aren’t, then it is likely that you won’t see a pay raise any time soon. If the company is struggling, most of the supervisors will constantly have that burden on their minds and may even stress about it. Even though times may be hard for you as well, don’t be the straw that breaks the camel’s back by approaching your supervisors to ask for something that they obviously cannot afford to give you.
As stated, common sense will get you far. Make decisions that will have long-term effects on your career. An ideal choice when your company is in a recession is to just forget about asking for a raise. If you fail to heed this advice, however, you may be looked upon poorly and even denied promotions for higher positions in the future.
Why might you be denied promotions? Because by asking, you would be seeking to stretch the company’s shoe string budget even thinner and showing you boss that, since you are the type to ask, that you would give away company funds freely to other employees if they were to ask for raises during difficult times.
Do Show Initiative
There are jobs that no one really wants to do. Although your position probably doesn’t require that you go on a coffee run, try doing things that will help you to stand out from the crowd.
Taking on a few more responsibilities even though not asked to, will show your boss that you take initiative and are a valuable employee.
Likewise, spending a few minutes educating yourself on things that surpass your position will allow you to join in a conversation with your superiors, offer some constructive feedback, and maybe even impress them.
Don’t Ask for a Raise after Three Weeks of Employment
Yes, people actually do this. If you have been an employee at your company for a short amount of time, don’t even bother asking your boss for a raise. Rookies have to prove themselves before they are privy to anything.
If you don’t feel like your position is paying you enough, the time to discuss pay was at your interview, not after you’ve been at the job for a short while and have only been paid a few times. Think of it this way: would you want your employees to approach you a few weeks or a couple of months into their careers and ask for a raise? How would that look to you? Indecisive, right?
A person with a made-up mind lets his potential employers know up front how much he feels he deserves for the time, skill, and effort that he is going to put into his work. Don’t be an employee who wavers and who can’t make the right decisions at the right moments.
Do Toot Your Own Horn
This isn’t the same as being arrogant or conceited. Tooting your own horn just lets others know how much you’ve been doing for the company. There is a way to do this effectively.
Don’t pile all of your accomplishments on your boss the day that you ask for a raise. You should start early by regularly letting your boss know the great things that you’ve been doing. Don’t just assume that all that you do goes noticed; voice how valuable you’ve been.
Why should you comment regularly on your accomplishments, however? Because then your boss will know that overachieving is the norm for you and that you deserve a higher position and a better salary.
There is nothing like feeling appreciated; and a raise in pay can definitely help one to feel valued. Knowing when to ask and how to ask for a raise can make all the difference in whether your request is denied or approved. Following these tips when you are gearing up to ask for that well-deserved raise could help you to see an increased salary and larger paychecks.
Have you asked your boss for a raise? What is your best tip? Please share with us below!