3 Steps to Ask For More Salary

If you’re reading this, you probably feel like your salary doesn’t do your efforts justice.  

Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Many a times, we put in huge amounts of effort at work that go unrecognized or unappreciated. And yes, we all experience uncertainty when it comes to asking your boss for a raise.  

You might find yourself thinking these questions. “Do I really deserve a raise? Is this the right time to ask? Would it create tension in the work environment?”. Well, these are valid fears, but I’m here to tell you to ask for that raise – and to teach you how to navigate the difficult task.  

I had a friend, Joan, has worked in the marketing industry for over 5 years. She has a diploma in marketing and started working right after she got the qualification. During her working life, she took on several successful projects, collected experience for different marketing sectors and furthered her qualification, creating an impressive resume.  

She was then hired at her dream company for a lower pay range then she expected. Nonetheless, she made the best of the experience. She led several huge projects and brought a substantial number of customers to the company. After a year or two of putting in this much effort, she felt like her pay no longer met up to her expectations.  

She then took on the tricky task of asking her boss for a pay raise, even though it was not the promotion period. She carefully curated a solid case (how to take on bigger responsibilities at work) for herself, highlighting her exceptional performance and how she has contributed to the company. While the boss needed some time to consider her request, she eventually was granted a pay raise!  

If you’re like Joan and feel like you’ve contributed significantly to your company’s growth, this article is for you. Here’s how to ask your boss for a pay raise:

1. Know Your Value

Do your research! Understand your market value, whether it’s through searching salary ranges on existing ads or asking around in your network. Once you can gauge the average salary for someone in your role, it will be easier for you to recognize if you’re being underpaid. Let your boss know what the general pay in your field is and then argue why you’re the top of the field and deserve a raise.  

Another tip is to be prepared about the salary increase that you are looking at. When you bring up this conversation with your boss, have a number in your head. This gives you an upper hand in deciding what your next pay will be.  

Joan already had her numbers prepared when she asked her boss for the pay raise. She proved to her boss that other employees in the same sector were getting a similar pay to what she was asking. With the salary she requested, her boss was able to negotiate an increase that the company could afford. This goes to show that clearly stating your intentions will make it easier to come to an agreeable and mutual resolution.

2. Prepare Your Case

Asking for a pay raise is no easy feat. You need to remember that it takes time and effort to get to the point where you are ready to ask for a pay raise. But once you reach the point to ask for one, it is a good idea to create a written document that encapsulates your progress in the company, your performance and your brownie points. Look at it from your boss’s viewpoint, an employee needs to have sufficient evidence to prove that he/she is worth the additional investment.  

If you’re looking for a pay raise, build up a list of achievements and accomplishments and highlight your strengths and talents in the company. It will be even more legitimate if you suggest your plans and ideas to continue growing the company.  

Joan used this trick for her negotiation with her boss. She prepared for him a list of documents that tracked her progress in the company and the successful ventures she brought for the company. In the negotiation, she also brought up a 2-year marketing strategy for her company. With these documents, the boss had time to revisit her request being fully equipped with knowledge of her contributions.  

3. Finding the Right Opportunity

Picking the right time to negotiate with your boss is crucial in getting the raise – asking first thing on a Monday or the last few hours on a Friday might get your request dumped. Schedule a meeting with your boss beforehand and inform him/her that you would like to talk about the possibilities of your career growth. This ensures that you have ample time to get your point across and to be prepared for the conversation.  

The way you carry out the negotiation is important as well, so practice with a friend in advance! Remember to be assertive and not aggressive, take note of your bosses’ response and body posture during the conversation to see if you need to continue supporting your claims or if you can back down. Most importantly, don’t threaten your employer – suggesting that you have an outside offer is a nono 

If all fails and you don’t succeed in getting a monetary raise, have a backup plan. Whether it’s more benefits or leaves, be prepared to suggest another compensation for your efforts. If you receive a rejection again, it might be time to look into changing your job, you deserve a company that recognizes your work. 

Check out our career guidance page for more useful lifestyle and career tips!   

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