When it comes to employment, most of us tend to tiptoe around one subject: money. We don’t know too many of the rules for asking for raises, and tend to feel guilty for asking. Walking out of your boss’s office with a raise is one of the best feelings in the world, one that everyone deserves to feel.
What’s the best time to ask for a raise? How should you go about the process? We’ll take a look at the best ways to ask for a raise so that you secure the pay you deserve. While job hopping is potentially one way to continually increase your salary, many people prefer the security of long-term employment status. In this situation, you’ll need to negotiate your value with the company that you’re working with.
If you aren’t happy in your position or feel that you aren’t being properly compensated for it, then it might be time to look for a new job. A staffing agency might be able to help you with that process and to get what you’re worth.
The Best Way to Ask for a Raise
When you’re asking for a raise, make sure to be open and honest. It’s important that you’re prepared to hear “no” as an answer to your request. If you do hear no, don’t let it discourage you. Listen carefully to the reasons and feedback from your superior. It might be the wrong time for the company or the wrong time for you individually. Learning how to ask for a raise means learning how to accept the possibility that they say no.
Is it the Right Time to Ask for a Raise?
When considering whether or not you should ask for a raise, you should make sure that it is the right time to ask. Consider a number of different variables, like the current overall health of the company, the stability of your superiors, and your recent performance. Even if you’ve had an amazing year with the company, a month where numbers taper off may not be the right time.
Eventually, you’ll just have to pull the trigger and ask. While you should avoid big emotional days and momentous times in the life of the company, there is no perfect time to ask for a raise.
What to Say When Asking for a Raise
Studies have shown that people are significantly more likely to do what you ask of them if you simply give them a reason for your request. The word “because” can convince people to do things that they otherwise might not consider. Remember that getting a raise is a lot like trying to get a job; being a confident candidate will help you succeed.
When asking for a raise, get highly specific. Ask for a raise because you’ve been with the company for such and such amount of time, because you haven’t gotten a raise in a while, and because you’ve added a lot of measurable value to your team.
When you’re pitching for a raise, make sure to ask for feedback. Anticipate the kind of objections or questions that you’ll get, and prepare clear and succinct answers for those questions.
Tips for Asking for a Raise
It can be difficult to figure out exactly how to ask for a raise. Don’t mention how much your co-workers happen to be making or how much better you are at your job than they are. Make this about yourself and the kind of value that you bring to the team, and not a game of comparisons or about a scarcity of talent.
Although it can certainly be difficult for companies to close the deal when there is a competing offer, never mention your ability to make more money at a different job. Negotiating a salary should be a conversation, not an ultimatum.
Ways to Ask for a Raise
Ask for a Raise Letter
The opening paragraph and overall tone are critical. You should have a gratified tone throughout the entire letter, but talk about how much you enjoy the company in the first paragraph. Don’t be overdramatic or extremely emotional, as it can make your words sound ungenuine. Honestly and effectively communicate how you enjoy the work and the culture of the company.
The letter shouldn’t be longer than a single page. In the following couple of paragraphs, build your case for why you should be receiving a raise of a specific amount of money at this time. Mention how much people in a similar position with similar skill sets can expect to earn, and mention how you have meet and exceed the expectations that your position carries. If you saved or earned your company a certain amount of money, be sure to mention that specifically.
The final paragraph is your call to action. In it, write a brief conclusion explicating why you are asking for a raise and be specific about the amount that you are requesting. Once again, be sure to communicate these expectations with positive energy so that you don’t send the wrong message. Be confident without seeming like you’re arrogant, and be humble without questioning yourself and your value.
Much like when you interview for a job, your letter should tell a story to communicate why you’re asking for a raise and how you’re going to continue to be a talented part of the team.
How Much of a Raise Should I Ask For?
When you’re asking for a raise, it’s hard to know exactly how much to ask for. You don’t want to be greedy and ask for too much, but you also want to ask for enough so that you don’t have to ask for another raise in the near future.
Remember that companies sometimes struggle to get what they pay for with a new hire, so starting salaries for certain types of employees can be low to make sure that the hire works out. Managers respect an employee that knows their value. Do your research on how much similar employees can expect to make in like situations. Keep these considerations in mind when determining your value:
- The salary range of your position
- The salary range of people who work in your company
- The kind of financial success your company has had during the previous financial year
- Your job performance over the past year
- The amount of time you’ve been with the company
How Often Can I Ask for a Raise
You probably shouldn’t ask for a raise more than once in a year, unless you’ve already asked for a raise and you and your manager talked about revisiting the subject later on. Asking for a raise more than once in a year can make you seem ungrateful or like you’re trying to take advantage of the company and its generosity.
When asking for a raise, you’re communicating that you are aware of your value to the company. However, if you ask for a raise too often, it will communicate instead that you’re attempting to squeeze as much money as you can out of the company.
When you try to talk to a manager about a raise, sometimes they will tell you that right now is not a good time to talk about it. Maybe they’re under a lot of stress right now, or maybe the company is not in a great financial spot. They may ask to revisit the issue in a number of months after the company finds better footing. If this is the case, make sure to bring up the issue again after the specified date. Allow an additional month or two to pass to ensure that the company’s recent success is maintained.
Asking for a raise is an uncomfortable task, but if done with timeliness and tact can yield worthwhile results.
While you should be prepared to hear “no,” and while there might be good reasons that you are hearing “no,” if you aren’t happy with your salary it might be time to begin searching for a new job opportunity. Recruitment agencies work by creating relationships with qualified candidates and great employers.