“Asking for a raise is so much fun,” said absolutely no one ever. Based on my experience alone, it’s pretty much proven to be just as awkward and uncomfortable as everyone before me said it would be. The worst part? It shouldn’t have been.
Asking for a raise doesn’t have to be intimidating and uncomfortable. If done right, the entire situation can be handled clearly, concisely, and comfortably from start to finish.
First, let me begin by explaining my experience in a little more detail. The first time I asked for a raise was at a low-paying, part-time job. I had been with the company for a couple of years at that point and hadn’t seen any increase in pay during that time. So naturally, I thought it fit to take control of the situation. After all, the worst thing my boss could say was no, right?
Once I’d finally worked up the courage to go to my boss, a few different thoughts came to mind. The first was, “do I even have the right to be asking for this?” The second— following almost immediately behind— was, “if he says no, I’ll be so embarrassed. I’ll probably never be able to gather enough courage to ask again.”
Let me first say, you DO have the right to ask for a raise. Anytime you want. However, keep in mind that your employer has the same right to turn it down if they feel you aren’t performing well enough or if it’s just not in the budget for the company. That being said, don’t ever feel as if you’re overstepping or pushing boundaries by going after something you want.
Secondly, it’s natural to feel a bit disappointed after being turned down for a raise, but you shouldn’t feel embarrassed. You gave it a shot and it didn’t work out in your favor— it happens! Instead of being embarrassed, try asking your employer why he/she turned down the idea. That way, if there’s something they feel you need to improve on at work, you’ll know and will have the opportunity to fix it before asking again.
Long story short, I didn’t get my raise the first time around. But I also didn’t go about asking for it the way I should have. Had I sat down to talk to my boss with more confidence and clearly stated intentions, maybe things would have gone differently for me.
If you’ve never actually been in the situation before— or if you have and it went horribly— you’re in luck. Here are 3 quick and easy steps to getting through the dreaded conversation that I wish I had known about earlier.
Step 1: Remind your boss of your professional goals.
Explain to him/her why you took the job in the first place and where you’re hoping it will lead in the near future. You don’t need to go over a 5-year plan with them or anything, but explaining how they can help you achieve your goals shows you’re willing to continue to work hard for the company. The last thing your employer wants is to give you a raise only to find out that it’s made you overly-confident or less motivated at work.
Step 2: Explain why you feel you deserve the raise.
Talk to your boss openly about what you feel you’ve been doing well. Allow him/her to give you feedback as you discuss your performance, but stand your ground if you truly feel you’ve been putting in extra effort, value, or hours.
It’s also a good idea to bring up any areas of work that you feel you’ve improved on since starting with the company. Remember that upon hiring you, your employer already saw value in you. So when asking for a raise, simply remind them of the qualities you brought to the company however long ago before explaining how you feel you’ve improved or grown since then.
Step 3: Be willing and able to take on more responsibility with the pay increase.
This one is pretty self-explanatory. In order to get more, you have to be willing to do more. Otherwise, your employer will see it as a one-sided favor that doesn’t really benefit him/her or the company.
If you don’t feel you can handle added responsibility but you feel you’re already doing more than what you’re being compensated for, be honest with your employer about it. In the nicest way possible, revisit step 2 and explain why you feel the work you’re putting in for the company is worth the extra money.
But wait— don’t track down your boss just yet. As an added bonus, here are a few important things not to do when asking for a raise:
…act like you need the raise.
…act like you’re entitled to the raise.
…ask for an unrealistic increase in pay.
It’s important to know your company really well before going to your employer. Make sure to familiarize yourself with the company’s current position in the market— i.e. how much more they could even afford to give you— along with what the position itself is worth to competing companies. This will help you identify the monetized worth of your specific skill set (which has probably grown since you started at your job) and be able to better explain why you chose the new amount when asked.
Now that we’ve covered these 3 easy steps and what not to do when asking for a raise, the BoydTech team wants to know… Do you feel more confident taking your salary into your own hands? If not, what’s still holding you back?
Share your thoughts with us in the comment section below or on one of our social media pages. And don’t forget to follow along for more BoydTech articles just like this one! What’s coming in July just might make it our best month yet…
As always, thanks for reading and happy marketing!
—Amanda Myers, Copywriter at BoydTech Design, Inc.