Approximately 30% of Americans admit to being constantly stressed out about their financial situation.
If you’re one of those people, asking your boss for a raise has probably crossed your mind as well. And while all of us could do with a raise now and then, the actual prospect of asking can be quite daunting.
So how do you move past this hurdle? Luckily, there are a few ways you can make the whole experience a lot easier. And we’ve outlined few tips on how to ask your boss for a raise.
However, before we get into those, you should first evaluate whether it’s a good idea to go for it now. Here’s what you need to consider.
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Timing Is Everything
When it comes to timing you need to factor in two major things. The first is fairly standard and rather obvious. You need to ask yourself if your boss is in a good mood.
Has he or she been particularly grim around the office lately? Have they been dishing out unwarranted criticisms in the past few days? If that’s the situation, it might be best to wait until it improves.
The second thing you need to factor in is the company’s financial situation. If the company is going through a financial crisis, your chances of getting a raise would automatically decrease. However, while this may reduce your odds, know that it still isn’t impossible.
In addition to these, there are a few other minor factors that could contribute to your odds. For example, if your boss has recently been praising you a whole lot, this is definitely a good sign. If you’ve recently done something to boost sales or add significant value to your company, that also helps you justify asking for a raise.
Evaluate Your Own Work
The next step is for you to be honest about your own work. Have you been performing well lately? Do you feel like you deserve it?
If you can’t justify a raise to yourself, odds are, you won’t be able to justify it to your boss. So be mindful of your work. If you feel like you’ve been slacking, give it a few months, pick up your pace and ask for a raise then.
Once you’re convinced that you deserve it, it’s time to practice the art of preparation.
Do Your Research
Start off by doing good research. Browse through forums and get a glimpse into what other employees of the same position are receiving for their work. Once you’ve got the general idea, you will be better equipped to decide what number to ask for.
In addition to that, you’ll also be able to make a better case for yourself during the conversation.
Talk to Your Co-Workers
Why not ask the people who’ve been there before? Talk to trusted colleagues and ask them how their “I need a raise” conversations went. Find out what works and what doesn’t.
Gather as much information as you can, and keep track of all the helpful tips that come your way.
Build Your Case
Once you’ve got the information you need, it’s time to build your case. Think of it this way – you know you deserve a raise, right? Now how do you convince your boss that you do?
Here are a few things you should incorporate into your conversation.
- The value you bring to the team
- How long you’ve been working at the company
- Your future career plans and how they tie in with the company
- Your vision for the company
- The fondness you have for your job
Unless you are actually willing to leave your job, do not issue an ultimatum. And if you feel like you need to – be very tactful about it. Make sure the language you use does not come off as aggressive.
Once you’ve got the game plan ready, it’s time to rehearse and set up a meeting with your boss. If you’re really nervous, you could consider roleplaying with a friend to further prepare yourself.
So, now that you’re all set, let’s get into what you should keep in mind for the actual meeting.
How to Ask Your Boss for a Raise During Your Meeting
Now that we’re at the actual meeting, you should know – body language is just as important as your verbal skills. Practice them equally. Ideally, here’s what you should try and aim for.
By confidence we mean, be sure of your value at the company. It’s also extremely important to have self-respect during these meetings. No matter how desperately you need the money, make sure you don’t resort to begging and pleading.
Simultaneously, you also don’t want to go over-board with your confidence. Too much confidence is just arrogance. Acknowledge that you have a lot more to learn, without forgetting how far you’ve come.
That’s the balance you should aim for.
And now let’s get into a few tips on how to tactfully make your point.
Most employers prefer that you get straight to the point. Tactful doesn’t mean beating around the bush. Know that asking for a raise is perfectly normal and while you may not have done this before – your boss sure has.
So respectfully state what you want and be as specific as you can.
Share Your Goals
Communicate your career goals as much as you can. And if your goals are aimed at moving higher in the company, definitely mention them. Your employer will appreciate your drive to do better and grow within the company.
However, if you plan on leaving in a few years, be sure you mention this as tactfully as possible. You do not want to come off as disloyal.
Express Your Gratitude
Don’t forget to mention your gratitude for all the opportunities you’ve received so far. However, it also helps if your gratitude is coming from a genuine place.
Justify Your Request, but Welcome Feedback
Remember the case you were making for yourself? It’s time to make it to your boss. But, don’t fall into a spiral of praising yourself too much.
When you mention your accomplishments, don’t forget to welcome feedback. Acknowledge that your boss reached where they are after a lot of hard work, and express your willingness to learn.
Now, this might be hard to do if you don’t like your boss, and we’re not asking you to mindlessly butter them up. However, if you do have genuine respect for them – be sure to express it.
And this leads us to our next point, which is…
Know the Player
At the risk of stealing quotes from Suits, in certain scenarios, it might be more about the player than the game. If you really need a raise, and quitting your job is not an option, you might have to pay more attention to this particular route.
Understand what works with your boss and what doesn’t. If they are the type to require constant validation, then maybe you need to give it to them to the extent you’re comfortable with.
Make sure you ask questions about the hypotheticals. What happens if you do get a raise? What extra responsibilities would you have?
What would be expected of you? Will your timings change? Consider the possibilities before you agree to the raise.
It is important to fully comprehend the consequences you are signing up for.
Recognize That You May Get a No, And That’s Okay
Now, unfortunately, no matter how many how to ask your boss for a raise articles you read, there’s always the possibility that you won’t get it.
This is something you need to accept and acknowledge before the fact. Make sure you have a backup plan in store for you before you do the talking. Maybe you can find a better paying job or even consider getting two jobs.
Always create an alternative game plan, no matter how certain you are of the answer.
Also know that if getting a raise involves compromising your self-respect, it is simply not worth it. No matter how desperately you need the money, there are always alternatives to getting some extra cash. Even if you have bad credit scores, there are plenty of ways you can get a no-credit-check loan or low-interest personal loans to help pay the bills.
If you’re in a dilemma like this, feel free to request a no-credit-check loan here, and say goodbye to all your financial worries!