How To Ask For a Raise
Asking for a raise can be a daunting process, because your employer isn’t in the business of giving out extra money when it’s not their idea. You’ll probably be required to justify why you deserve a raise and your fellow employees don’t.
That means you’ll need to be in good standing at your place of work and be underpaid by the standard pay rates of your job description. If so, you’ll have reasons to cite why you need and deserve a pay raise at your work.
Knowing how to ask for a raise is as important (or more important) than actually needing or deserving a pay raise. It doesn’t matter if you do the work necessary to justify a pay raise, you are payed a sub-standard salary and you really need the extra money, if you can’t convey that to your employer effectively. So read “How To Ask For a Raise” to get some basic ideas how to ask for your next pay raise at work.
Understand Your Employer’s Raise Policies
Find out the raise policy of your employer or company. If the standard policy is to give pay raises at some particular interval, such as a half-year or year, your employer is unlikely to give you a pay raise if you ask for it at any other time.
Many companies have an annual job review where it’s decided whether you’ll receive a pay raise. Those who have a set time to give raises are unlikely to respond to specific requests at other times of the year.
If you hear that there will be a standard pay raise across the board, asking for a higher pay raise isn’t likely to work. If you find out that neither of these policies are in effect, then asking for meeting and negotiating a pay raise might work for you.
Find Out Pay Rates For Your Position
Arm yourself with information, because you’ll need to justify a pay raise if you decide to negotiate with your supervisor. Learn the market pay rates for your position. Also, learn what the local market conditions for your position are.
For instance, if there are a lot of open positions of your job position in your area, that’s a good reason for your employer to pay you more to keep your services. If there are no positions, now’s probably not a good time to bring up a pay raise.
Also, if your pay rate is above the market average, you probably won’t get very far when negotiating a pay raise. Most important, you’ll want to know this information beforehand, because your employer may cite market pay rates and average pay for your position and you don’t want to be blindsided. Also, if you appear to know what you’re talking about, you’re likely to appear more serious about your request.
Read Your Company’s Employee Handbook
This will help you find out the company policy on pay raises (found under “Understand Your Employer’s Raise Policy”). Also, the policy handbook will set out exactly what the company policy for pursuing a pay raise might be. You should follow this policy to the letter. If there is no policy, then you can cite that fact if your employer seems surprised by your request.
Learn From Your Peers
Network with peers in your field to learn how competitive your salary is compared to others in your position. Talk with other locals who have similar jobs.
Get information from professional associations, who can provide you not only with valuable salary information from surveys of your profession they might take, but also might give you the opportunity to network with other professionals in similar job positions.
Another resource is to join a message board or forum dedicated to your profession. This gives you the opportunity to network with others like yourself and ask salary questions.
The anonymity of your online peers might inspire more truthfulness and straightforwardness about salaries, since these aren’t people you’ll be seeing every day or who’ll have resentments. Remember that pay scales will be different in other parts of the country, because of local inflation and higher per capita living conditions. Take this into account.
If you can’t find a forum about your job (unlikely, no matter what it is), then get your own blog and write about your job, opening the blog to comments from others. Don’t use your full name to identify yourself when blogging, because the last thing you want is your boss seeing you blogging and/or complaining about that pay raise you feel you deserve.