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Revealed: How to Ask (and Get) a Raise You Deserve

Revealed: How to Ask (and Get) a Raise You Deserve

Another disappointment in the annual review. No pay raise once again. The salary has been frozen for recent years while there are more responsibilities on your shoulders. You truly feel you deserve a pay raise but it never comes. You begin to wonder: Is it the time to actively ask for a raise? How to ask for a raise?

But you are hesitant, fearing you can’t get the desired raise and ruin the relationships between you and the seniors. You are also concerned about how your colleagues would think of you when they hear your request.

Instead, you shouldn’t worry, and you should go for it!

Do your homework before asking for a raise.

Here are all the do’s and don’ts in demanding a pay raise.

1. Find the best timing to request.

Most people ask for their pay raise during the annual review period and get rejected. You may think you’re rejected because you do not deserve a raise in their eyes, but the truth is – It is TOO LATE.

As early as 3 to 4 months before an annual review, the seniors have to plan the coming fiscal year’s budget. And most importantly, the budget includes the sum of raises and salary adjustments. So, if you demand a raise in an annual review, the budget is already fixed and you usually can’t get the raise. Request a few months in advance instead!

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Besides, analyzing the current status of the company is crucial. Imagine you still ask for a raise when the company is experiencing stagnant or even negative growth, it would be a disaster.

On the other hand, if the company’s financial growth is on the rise and has recorded greens in consecutive seasons, then it is your opportunity! Your boss is more than willing to reward everyone who makes the growth possible (if your boss is a nice and generous one).

2. Maximize your bargaining power.

There are a few things you have to know and prepare before your request.

How much your colleagues of the same rank are earning?

Knowing the salaries of your colleagues is important. You have to know the discrepancy between yours and theirs to request for a reasonable raise. Otherwise, you will sound greedy. You won’t want it to happen.

What are your accomplishments and contributions?

Keep a detailed and specific log of how your have added values to the company. State the nature of the project or task clearly and how successful it is. It is also important to mention how your contributions have helped the company to grow.

You have to be clear and specific about your accomplishments because your boss has to take care of so many matters. He/she really needs your reminders to recall your contributions.

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What are your responsibilities and duties?

You have probably looked into what your colleagues are doing and it’s important to compare the responsibilities you and your colleagues have.

Having more duties should probably earn more. If you happen to earn less by doing more than your counterparts, it is perhaps the time to ask for a raise.

3. Know the amount you should ask for.

There are no norms for how much a raise should be. It varies greatly across industries and companies. While a rapidly growing startup can review salaries on a quarterly basis, a well-established multinational company may do so yearly.

However, there are some suggestions on how much a raise you should be requesting.

  • If there is a promotion in rank, around 10% rise in salary is reasonable.
  • If you stay in the same position, it is advised not to ask for more than 3% raise.

If not carefully requested, you may end up appearing ignorant or greedy.

4. Rehearse what you are going to say in front of your seniors.

It is highly advised to rehearse the meeting beforehand.

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Try to play the role of your boss and yourself, and think of the questions you will be dealing with. It is likely that you’ll be asked for the reason to raise your salary. If you practiced well, you should have a nice and convincing answer.

It may sound weird but this rehearsal can worth a few hundreds or even thousands of money. Think about it.

Talk politely and skillfully during the meeting.

Now you’re well-prepared, here are a few more pointers to help you during the meeting.

5. Get straight to the point.

You have clearly stated the purpose of the meeting and it’s best to be on point. Go straight to the topic as you have prepared. Tell your seniors your positive impact to the company and everything you know that are proof to your below average salary.

6. Mention your ambition and loyalty to the company’s future.

Seniors love to see your devotion to company. In spite of talking about how much you worth, also mention what you have planned for the future and your prospect in the company.

Talk about how you wish to help the company. It is also good to stress your commitment to the company.

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7. Don’t suggest counter-offers or threats.

Sometimes, you are offered a raise but not exactly the amount you desire. Remember, don’t make any counter-offers and threats about quitting. You are here trying to look for a win-win situation.

Don’t make it into a lethal negotiation where both you and the seniors feel the uncomfortable tension. Things usually go more smoothly in a harmonious setting.

8. Don’t complain about your current job situation.

Maintain a positive tone throughout the meeting. Imagine if you were the boss, would you like to hear “I have been working here for 4 years. While I am having to do more, I have nothing more in return!”?

Remember you are here to request for a pay raise and you need the boss’ support to do so. Don’t piss anyone off and ruin your future.

9. Prepare for rejection.

Prepare to receive a cruel rejection from your boss. Instead of a promotion in position or a raise in salary, you may also suggest looking into the options of incentives, bonuses or stock options.

Also, it is good to ask for an interim performance appraisal. It may be that your performance is not impressive enough at the moment but your boss definitely sees your efforts and progress. A raise could be happening anytime in the future.

If, unfortunately, everything is rejected, it is still fine. It is good to ask about rooms for improvement because you may have overlooked some of your accomplishments and performances.

Don’t be deterred by refusal. After all, if you don’t even ask at all, you won’t stand the slightest chance to have a raise.

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Jeffrey Lau

Editor. Sport Lover. Animal Lover.

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Last Updated on August 16, 2018

16 Productivity Secrets of Highly Successful People Revealed

16 Productivity Secrets of Highly Successful People Revealed

The same old motivational secrets don’t really motivate you after you’ve read them for the tenth time, do they?

How about a unique spin on things?

These 16 productivity secrets of successful people will make you reevaluate your approach to your home, work, and creative lives. Learn from these highly successful people, turn these little things they do into your daily habits and you’ll get closer to success.

1. Empty your mind.

It sounds counterproductive, doesn’t it?

Emptying your mind when you have so much to remember seems like you’re just begging to forget something. Instead, this gives you a clean slate so you’re not still thinking about last week’s tasks.

Clear your mind and then start thinking only about what you need to do immediately, and then today. Tasks that need to be accomplished later in the week can wait.

Here’s a guide to help you empty your mind and think sharper:

How to Declutter Your Mind to Sharpen Your Brain and Fall Asleep Faster

2. Keep certain days clear.

Some companies are scheduling “No Meeting Wednesdays,” which means, funnily enough, that no one can hold a meeting on a Wednesday. This gives workers a full day to work on their own tasks, without getting sidetracked by other duties or pointless meetings.

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This can work in your personal life too, for example if you need to restrict Facebook access or limit phone calls.

3. Prioritize your work.

Don’t think every task is created equal! Some tasks aren’t as important as others, or might take less time.

Try to sort your tasks every day and see what can be done quickly and efficiently. Get these out of the way so you have more free time and brain power to focus on what is more important.

Lifehack’s CEO has a unique way to prioritize works, take a look at it here:

How to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster

4. Chop up your time.

Many successful business leaders chop their time up into fifteen-minute intervals. This means they work on tasks for a quarter of an hour at a time, or schedule meetings for only fifteen minutes. It makes each hour seem four times as long, which leads to more productivity!

5. Have a thinking position.

Truman Capote claimed he couldn’t think unless he was laying down. Proust did this as well, while Stravinsky would stand on his head!

What works for others may not work for you. Try to find a spot and position that is perfect for you to brainstorm or come up with ideas.

6. Pick three to five things you must do that day.

To Do lists can get overwhelming very quickly. Instead of making a never-ending list of everything you can think of that needs to be done, make daily lists that include just three to five things.

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Make sure they’re things that need to be done that day, so you don’t keep putting them off.

7. Don’t try to do too much.

OK, so I just told you to work every day, and now I’m telling you to not do too much? It might sound like conflicting advice, but not doing too much means not biting off more than you can chew. Don’t say yes to every work project or social engagement and find yourself in way over your head.

8. Have a daily action plan.

Don’t limit yourself to a to-do list! Take ten minutes every morning to map out a daily action plan. It’s a place to not only write what needs to be done that day, but also to prioritize what will bring the biggest reward, what will take the longest, and what goals will be accomplished.

Leave room for a “brain dump,” where you can scribble down anything else that’s on your mind.

9. Do your most dreaded project first.

Getting your most dreaded task over with first means you’ll have the rest of the day free for anything and everything else. This also means that you won’t be constantly putting off the worst of your projects, making it even harder to start on it later.

10. Follow the “Two-Minute Rule.”

The “Two-Minute Rule” was made famous by David Allen. It’s simple – if a new task comes in and it can be done in two minutes or less, do it right then. Putting it off just adds to your to-do list and will make the task seem more monumental later.

11. Have a place devoted to work.

If you work in an office, it’s no problem to say that your cubicle desk is where you work every day.

But if you work from home, make sure you have a certain area specifically for work. You don’t want files spread out all over the dinner table, and you don’t want to feel like you’re not working just because you’re relaxing on the couch.

Agatha Christie never wrote at her desk, she wrote wherever she could sit down. Ernest Hemingway wrote standing up. Thomas Wolfe, at 6’6″ tall, used the top of his refrigerator as a desk. Richard Wright wrote on a park bench, rain or shine.

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Have a space where, when you go there, you know you’re going to work. Maybe it’s a cafe downstairs, the library, or a meeting room. Whenever and wherever works for you, do your works there.

12. Find your golden hour.

You don’t have to stick to a “typical” 9–5 schedule!

Novelist Anne Rice slept during the day and wrote at night to avoid distractions. Writer Jerzy Kosinski slept eight hours a day, but never all at once. He’d wake in the morning, work, sleep four hours in the afternoon, then work more that evening.

Your golden hour is the time when you’re at your peak. You’re alert, ready to be productive, and intent on crossing things off your to-do list.

Once you find your best time, protect it with all your might. Make sure you’re always free to do your best uninterrupted work at this time.

13. Pretend you’re on an airplane.

It might not be possible to lock everyone out of your office to get some peace and quiet, but you can eliminate some distractions.

By pretending you’re on an airplane, you can act like your internet access is limited, you’re not able to get something from your bookcase, and you can’t make countless phone calls.

Eliminating these distractions will help you focus on your most important tasks and get them done without interruption.

14. Never stop.

Writers Anthony Trollope and Henry James started writing their next books as soon as they finished their current work in progress.

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Stephen King writes every day of the year, and holds himself accountable for 2,000 words a day! Mark Twain wrote every day, and then read his day’s work aloud to his family to get their feedback.

There’s something to be said about working nonstop, and putting out continuous work instead of taking a break. It’s just a momentum that will push you go further./

15. Be in tune with your body.

Your mind and body will get tired of a task after ninety minutes to two hours focused on it. Keep this in mind as you assign projects to yourself throughout the day, and take breaks to ensure that you won’t get burned out.

16. Try different methods.

Vladimir Nabokov wrote the first drafts of his novels on index cards. This made it easy to rearrange sentences, paragraphs, and chapters by shuffling the cards around.

It does sound easier, and more fun, than copying and pasting in Word! Once Nabokov liked the arrangement, his wife typed them into a single manuscript.

Same for you, don’t give up and think that it’s impossible for you to be productive when one method fails. Try different methods until you find what works perfectly for you.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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