Are you one of those people afraid to ask certain questions because you may not get the answer you want?
I’m not a psychic, but I am going to go out on a limb here, and guess that a little two-letter word is the basis for most of your fear.
That word, of course, is “NO.”
If you have been slugging it out in the trenches for a few years and are beginning to think , “Hey, I should be getting compensated a little better,” then put on your gloves and get ready to rumble.
It is the rare position in today’s job market that comes with automatic pay raises, and most bosses are not of a mind to arbitrarily hand out more money without being asked.
So, it is up to you to determine if you’re ready and deserving of a salary increase, and only you can take charge of the situation. To help you get the results you want, here are six tips to help you feel properly equipped for the “fight.”
1) There are no hard and fast rules for “when” you should ask for a pay raise. However, you should at least wait until your history with the company has given you time to have proven yourself to be a valuable team member.
2) Strike while the iron is hot. Look for an opportunity to go above and beyond the call of duty. Rarely is there a better opportunity to get the answer you want than while you are riding high on a wave of recent success.
3) Never, never, ever use company sponsored social gatherings to hit your boss up for more money. The outcome is likely to be quite embarrassing for both of you, and your professional image may be damaged beyond repair.
4) Like any good attorney, be prepared to make your case. Have documentation readily available that proves to the powers that be that you do indeed deserve the pay raise you’re seeking. Have you saved the company money by incorporating some new way of getting things done? Were you key in getting a big client to use your product or service? Can you prove that you regularly show up early and stay late?
If you think you deserve a raise, be crystal clear about why you feel this way and how your actions impacted the company’s bottom line (and/or made your boss look better). Nothing wins a debate like facts. This is another reason to keep your resume current with a running list of achievements. As well, maintain a file of any emails or other notes that underscore your value-even track conversations with your boss, customers, vendors, team mates and others with whom you have collaborated that articulate something good or valuable you have contributed.
5) Research your salary marketability. Tap online resources such as Glassdoor to see how your compensation package stacks up with salaries and bonuses for your specific job at other companies. You can even do a search by similar types and sizes of companies and region or city, to ensure you are comparing apples to apples. For example, here’s a snapshot from Glassdoor of what a Marketing Director in Cincinnati, OH earns:
By being armed with what others in your position earn, you can further build a case. In particular, if the duties of your role have expanded since you last earned a pay raise, that may mean the position title, and often with it, the salary level, should similarly be expanded.
6) Be open to other forms of compensation. There are some companies that simply do not have the funds available for a raise, no matter how much they may think you deserve it. Would you be happy if you were allowed to come in late or leave early a few times a week? Perhaps you would like to negotiate flextime, including occasional work-at-home office hours? What about adding a few extra days to your vacation time? Would you be willing to accept compensation in the form of the products or services your company provides? There are many ways to get a raise that don’t necessarily mean more cash in your paycheck, but may be just as valuable.
Remember, don’t let fear keep you from asking for additional compensation if you truly believe you deserve it. Be confident in your value. The last time I checked, it is still illegal for bosses to beat their employees just for asking a question.
Even one as big as, “Can I have a pay raise?”