The thought of asking for a raise can make even the best employees feel unsettled, but no matter how much you love your job, sometimes you need to take the plunge. Luckily for you, recent research shows now may be a better time than ever to ask for a raise.
Results from Glassdoor’s Q2 2015 Employment Confidence Survey show 47 percent of employees are expecting a pay raise in the next 12 months, the highest percentage since 2008. Combine that with data from a 2011 LinkedIn study that suggests July is one of the best months to ask for a raise, and now appears to be the perfect time.
How do you take advantage of this? Here are five things you need to know to make sure you’re as prepared as possible when you take the plunge:
1. Show your boss why you deserve a raise.
You may think that five years working at the company is enough to warrant a raise, but your boss is going to want more than mere tenure. You know what you do on an everyday basis and how it affects the company’s bottom line, so be prepared to show your boss exactly ow you make an impact.
Did you increase sales by 15 percent this year? Did you bring in a big-ticket client that increased the company’s revenue by five percent? Did you re-focus the company’s social media strategy to increase engagement and attract new leads?
These are the kind of impact statements that make a difference in raise discussions. Find a way to quantify your achievements and present them in a way that shows how indispensable you are to the company for the best chance at locking down a raise.
2. Know your worth in the market.
Just like being able to show your worth to the company, it’s important to understand what you’re worth on the market before asking for a raise. Use sites like Glassdoor to view the salary ranges for similar positions in your area and make sure you’re not asking for too little or too much.
If you’re below market value, use that as a way to start the discussion with your boss. Talk about the salary ranges you found and suggest that you’re trying to get yourself closer to the norm for your position, then reinforce your case with the impact statements you prepared for the meeting.
3. Consider the timing.
Just because more people than ever are expecting a raise doesn’t mean your company is in a position to give you one. Before you take the plunge, do some research.
Find out how your company is performing and if it is expected to meet its financial goals for the year. If so, you’re in good shape. Is the company making staff cuts and consolidating divisions or offices? If it is, you may want to wait to ask for a raise so it doesn’t look like you are out of tune with what’s going on in the overall business picture.
Timing can be just as important as the contributions you make when asking for a raise. Do your research and make sure it’s an appropriate time to ask for a raise before you make your pitch.
4. Check your emotions at the door.
Raise decisions are not emotional. Yes, for you a raise may mean more financial freedom or a faster path to paying off your student loans, but for your employer it’s a purely financial decision: Does the company have room in the budget? Are you performing above and beyond? How much is your market worth?
The sooner you understand this, the more effective you will be when asking for your raise. By checking your emotions at the door, you’re showing your boss you can step back and make objective, fact-based arguments that consider both your own success and that of the company.
5. Have a plan if your boss says no.
Even if you’ve built a great case for a raise, chosen the right time, and presented your case in an objective way, your boss might still say no. Be prepared to handle a “no” before you walk through the door. Instead of walking away embarrassed, disappointed, or even angry — remember, leave your emotions at the door — lay the foundation for your next raise discussion.
Is there an internal raise schedule that you didn’t know about? Are there goals the company needs to meet before it gives raises? When does your boss think is a good time to discuss a raise again?
Don’t leave your boss’ office without getting feedback on your performance and learning more about the company’s plan for you going forward.
Does asking for a raise make you nervous? How do you prepare for the discussion?