Year-end reviews may not be the ideal time to ask for a raise or new job title, but if you are going to do it you better be prepared.
At most companies’ raises and promotions are set in stone well before you meet with your manager, but it could be a great way to plant the seed for some time in the New Year.
“If you do decide to bring up a change, you need to come prepared with data and stats to back up what it is you’re asking for,” says Luan Lam, vice president of global talent acquisition at software services company AppDynamics. “For instance, research market trends how much your peers are getting paid at other companies within the same industry, if you want a raise. Data speaks versus just saying, I want a raise.”
Before you gear up to ask your manager for change you want to make sure it’s a realistic request. That’s why Vinda Rao, the marketing manager at Bullhorn, a recruitment software company says to ask yourself if requesting a raise or promotion isn’t far-fetched. If you can honestly answer yes, then it’s time to prepare. You want to go into any review with a clear idea of what you are looking for. For instance if research shows people in your same position typically make 10% more then you that’s what you should ask for. But even more important than having an idea of what you should be paid is being able to articulate clearly why you deserve it.
According to Richie Frieman, an author and Modern Manners Guy, for the Quick & Dirty Tips Network, any employee who wants change needs to come to the review with facts to support why they should get a hike in pay, new title or more responsibilities. That means you want to have specific facts and supporting documents to showcase what you’ve done for the company over the year. Let’s say you are in sales and are looking for a higher commission in 2015. It’s not enough to say I worked really hard this year. You’ll need to show how your hard work boosted revenue for the company or increased the number of sales with hard numbers. It’s not unheard of for ambitious employees to create a power point presentation highlighting all their contributions.
“Your best bargaining chip is your value as an employee,” says Rao. “If you’re terrible at your job and completely expendable to the company, no creative presentations will get you that raise. If you consistently burn the midnight oil, have generated huge revenue for the business, manage star performers or are a star performer yourself, then yes, you have leverage.”
The year-end review isn’t the time to blind side your boss with your request either. Frieman says a way to get around that is to email your boss ahead of time what you want to discuss during the review. That will give your manager a chance to digest your request and be able to give you a concrete answer when you do meet.
If you don’t like the answer you get you have options. You can ask your manager what you need to do in the New Year to be considered for a new role or more money or you can look elsewhere. What you don’t want to do is threaten to leave if you don’t get what you want. You’ll come off looking unprofessional, immature and weak. A better alternative is try to work with your manager to find a solution. If that goes nowhere, Lam says to keep in mind that someone is actually hearing you. “Typically your request truly didn’t go unnoticed and it’s important to remember companies are operating within parameters in terms of how much of an increase/when they can give an increase to employees,” he says. “It’s important to set your expectations with yourself and your hiring manager.”