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How to successfully ask for a pay raise

Asking for a pay raise is one of the most nerve-wrecking experiences in the work place. The thought of presenting a case for a salary increase to your boss can be intimidating. Most people argue “My boss has been seeing my progress and achievements, why do I need to point such factors for a pay raise?” They forget that their bosses also are busy trying to hit their own targets and key performance indicators and may actually need reminding. Most of the time, your reasons are justified and worthy a consideration, but you have to consider your employer’s position, and the fact that they need convincing to include your name in the list of staff to get a raise in the next fiscal year’s budget. This article will help you develop strategies that will help make the process less nerve-wrecking by taking heed of the following factors.

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Company Policy

You have to take into consideration the prevailing company policy about salary raise. Some companies follow a set principle of a certain percentage raise annually, while others grant raises on merit. Others follow no particular code. You have to understand the history of pay raises in your company and follow the right procedure. Even if everyone knows you deserve a raise, but there is an existing policy, your efforts to negotiate for one will likely hit a tall, thick wall. It might also be interpreted as lack of discernment on your part.

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The old adage of timing being everything applies squarely in your pay raise efforts. You have to ensure that you time your request to match a suitable environment for a positive reception. If raises are effected annually, do not wait until you are seated across your boss during a performance review to bring up the salary increase topic.

At the same time, do not ask for a raise when colleagues are getting laid off or the company has suffered a loss. Even if you are currently handling the workload of two or three people, your boss will think you are inconsiderate and ungrateful.

The best time to ask for a raise is well before your annual review and when the economic atmosphere is what you would consider optimal in the company. Usually after a commendable achievement, request for a meeting with your boss and discuss the salary review.


Mind your Language

Even when you feel unfairly compensated after comparing your workload and your pay, be careful not to become a whiner and worse still, not to whine to the wrong people. You giving the sordid details about how your insufficient pay is barely sustaining your lifestyle to a colleague during tea break doesn’t help your case. Pick it up with someone who can actually make a difference in your situation – your boss. Carefully prepare a case and politely request for a meeting. Do not ambush them with complaints about your pay. You booking a meeting for discussion makes the whole affair look very official and presents you as being a professional. Your boss will most likely take you seriously depending on how you approach him or her.

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Create a Strategic Plan

A salary increase is not a right in most companies, it is on merit after performance reviews. This means that each day at the office is an opportunity to earn your positive salary review. You need to set the stage ahead by working hard, good conduct in the office and exceeding your key performance indicators. A pay increase is different from your initial salary agreements when you signed the contract. This means that you have to do more to earn more. Take on more responsibilities that go beyond your current job description, identify a mentor within the management and soak in their wisdom and experience, and dutifully record each milestone and achievement. With this, you will build your own personal brand and reputation that will be worth a pay raise and no one will have the grounds to reject your case.

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Be Flexible

Even as you plan to approach your boss with the suggestion of a pay raise, remember to maintain a flexible mindset. Do not assume a rigid ideology that you must get an X percentage raise. Rigidity always leaves people disappointed and frustrated. You may present a strong case, but the company may not be in a position to support your wish at that particular time. Alternatively they may not be able to give you an X percentage, but they are willing to give a Y percentage for now. Take it in good faith and keep your emotions in check. Show gratitude for the opportunity to present your case and hope for better next time.

This article first appeared on BrighterMonday’s Blog

Image credit: iambaker.net

Nathan Jeffery
Notification Bell