Had a good year at work?
Beat sales expectations or closed a big deal? Or perhaps you streamlined
operations to achieve effective cost cutting or took on new responsibilities.
If you've had a stellar year at work, it's time to ask for a raise. Even in
these challenging economic times, negotiating a raise is possible given the
right timing and presentation.
If You Don't Ask, You Don't Get
We'll begin with what
should be obvious. If you want a raise you're going to have to ask for it. Too
many people make the mistake of assuming their contributions will be recognized
and rewarded. Not so. It's the squeaky wheel that gets the grease so get ready
to ask for the raise you deserve.
How to Ask
When we say raise, we're
not talking about an annual cost of living bump but rather a sizeable reward
tied to your enhanced performance and measurable impact on the company's bottom
line. If you think you deserve more money for a better-than-average performance,
you're going to need to prove it.
To begin, make a list of
your accomplishments. Support the list with as many details as possible (i.e.
money raised or saved, the nature of the extra hours or responsibilities you've
taken on). You might wish to print out e-mails with compliments from superiors
or customers. Consider bringing copies of reports or other documents that help
spell out your case in black and white.
Educate yourself about
commensurate salaries for your position and in your field. Demonstrating to
your boss that you're underpaid in your role will help make the case that an
increase is merited. Finally, leave your personal finances out of the
discussion. People get paid for their contributions, not because they have a
big mortgage or a new baby arriving.
When to Ask
Typically, raise requests
are pegged to your annual year-end review. After all, this is a time when
you're accomplishments are evaluated and your contributions closely examined.
If your annual review isn't in the offing, you can still approach your boss
after completing a big project or successfully executing a new directive. The
key is to ask for a raise at a time when you can best showcase your
Also, schedule time with
your boss rather than waylaying her or tacking the request on to the agenda of
an existing meeting. Give your boss time to hear your case when they aren't
rushed or distracted.
No Doesn't Have to Be the End
Sometimes, no matter how
persuasively you make your case, your boss will turn down your request for a
raise. Try not to let the conversation end with a "no." See if you can get a bump in title with a
promise to revisit the issue of a raise in six months. Or negotiate for extra
perks such as vacation time or a better workspace. Benefits are often more
easily dispensed than cash.
Finally, don't threaten
your boss or issue an ultimatum. If you take the stance "I need a raise or I
quit" you may find yourself shown the door. If the conversation doesn't go your
way, try to remain neutral and extract a promise to reconsider the topic down
the road. This frees you up to assess if you are content to stay for the time
being or if its time to hit the road for greener pastures.
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Beyond FoldersTM is written by a team of Pendaflex associates
passionate about time management, communications, productivity and workplace organization. Believing in "continuous improvement" on both a personal and professional level, they share their unique perspectives on subjects of common interest to our readers.