how to ask for a raise

How many times have you said to yourself, “I should be making more money in this job.”? My first question to you is: have you ever asked your employer for a raise? If so, how did you frame your request?

My experience is that if a manager is given a solid, fact-based case for increasing your salary, they will either concede or outline what you need to do to get that raise or a promotion. Just as important as asking is the timing of the request. Let’s consider these two points. First a solid, fact-based case and, second, the timing of the request.

What is a solid, fact-based case? It is a written description of how you are consistently exceeding what is expected of you in your job description and your current responsibilities. Each example of exceeding expectations should be backed with numbers and truths. For example, if one of your annual goals is to produce five new clients, you would not state, “I produced more than five clients.” Rather, you’d say, “I produced eight clients over the course of eight months.” Then list those clients with any pertinent financial data. To go a step further, if you’re able to illustrate the increased net profit to the organization, go for it. It will likely make your request seem small compared to your net contribution and make the raise or promotion a no-brainer for your manager.

Why is timing important? If you wait until your performance appraisal to have this discussion it's logistically too late. The budget is final and already distributed to the various departments; perhaps even to certain employees. It is unlikely that there is any extra money available. I recommend having this discussion with your manager three to four months before your planned annual performance appraisal and/or salary increase. This time also allows you to “fix” any deficits or weaknesses your manager may share with you in response to your request.

The Downside There is a downside to taking this bold move. You may be turned down. Typically, if you provide a fact-based case, something good will come from it, even if it’s not exactly what you’re looking for. It may not be a bigger salary but it could be a plan to get your next promotion. It could also be a one-time bonus for your achievements. However, if your fact-based case is challenged without merit or even ignored, it may be time for you to consider an internal transfer to a more appreciative manager. You might also consider looking for a new employer who will value your talents.

If you’re looking for coaching to prepare you for your discussion with management, email me. Click here to get in touch.

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