I remember my first time asking for a raise, I was so nervous! I walked into my boss’ office with sweaty palms, a dry throat and somehow pushed out the words I thought would convince him I was worthy of a raise.
My worst case scenario happened and he said NO. Luckily I was prepared and gave him my resignation on the spot. Little did he know, I had 3 opportunities lined up before I stepped foot in his office. 3 years later he asked me to return, offered me my worth and a position to run his office. I accepted.
Asking for a raise can be overwhelming. Studies show many people quit before even attempting to ask for more money because it makes them feel uncomfortable. But, leaving isn’t easy, especially if you like where you work.
So, instead of spending the next 6 months wrestling with your paycheck or attempting to prove you were a good hire, here’s what you need to do before asking for a raise.
1. Focus on the company. It’s never a good idea to compare the difference between what you and your co-workers are getting paid. Instead, focus on the company benefiting from your experience and quality of work. When you start discussing what is fair and what isn’t fair things can quickly turn negative and you can end up on the losing end.
2. Make sure the time is right. Even if you think you’re worth it, try not to ask for a raise when your company is downsizing or laying-off employees. If you work for a larger organization avoid asking for a raise around performance review time because they tend to have a pre-planned ceiling in place. Asking for a raise is easiest to do after you’ve just finished a successful project or increased revenue somehow for the company such as improved sales or landing a new client account.
3. Identify your value and then tell the story. If you don’t know how to clearly articulate your value, it cannot be measured in compensation.
Finding out what the industry pay rate is for your position is important, but it’s equally important to explain how you have contributed to the organization while in your position. The best way to get your boss to listen is to talk in terms of Return on Investment (ROI) when asking for a pay increase. Your boss wants to know why you deserve more pay and what they should expect to get in return if they decide to grant your request. Always get your qualitative and quantitative data in order before you set the meeting.
4. Rehearse! Don’t let your meeting with your boss be the first time you’re asking for a raise. Even though you cannot predict what he or she will say, knowing your talking points are important to keep you focused on delivering the right message. Stumbling over your words can be disastrous and interfere with you clearly articulating your worth.
Preparation is key. Know what you want, make sure it is reasonable, and always prepare for the worst case scenario.
*This article was originally published in Legacy Miami and Legacy South Florida Magazine October, 2017 Edition