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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.

More by this author

Jeffrey Lau

Editor. Sport Lover. Animal Lover.

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Last Updated on October 17, 2018

7 Natural (And Highly Effective) Ways to Improve Memory

7 Natural (And Highly Effective) Ways to Improve Memory

How is your memory? Is your cognitive function as strong as you’d like it to be?

If not, then you’re definitely going to be interested in the memory improvement tips I’ll be sharing with you in this article.

Despite what you might think – or have been told – improving your ability to recall information is certainly possible. You just need to know the right ways to do it. (Don’t worry, as you won’t need to make any significant lifestyle changes.)

So how to improve memory? Let’s dive straight into the first of seven easy ways to improve your memory significantly.

1. Meditate

We live in a world of non-stop, 24/7 information. It’s like a waterfall that’s endlessly pouring news, data, facts and figures into our conscious minds.

Unfortunately, our brains are not designed to absorb this tremendous amount of information. It’s no wonder then, that most people struggle to remember information and recall things.

Even if you believe you have a good memory and are comfortable with multi-tasking, you’ll also be aware that there’s only so much information your brain can process at one time. And research suggests that the more information and distractions, the harder it is for you to transfer information to your long-term memory.[1]

Fortunately, meditation can help you out.

Even if you just meditate for 10 minutes per day, you’ll boost your ability to focus, which in turn, will make it easier for you to remember important facts.

If you need help in shifting into a meditative state, I recommend trying an app like Headspace – which can assist you to achieve this in a convenient and structured way.

And don’t forget, meditation doesn’t just have to be closing your eyes and sitting in a lotus position. Some people prefer to simply take a short walk in nature. This clears and calms their mind, and still provides the all-important boost to their focus.

2. Get plenty of sleep

If you’re sleep deprived or have not been sleeping well, then I’m guessing you’re not remembering well either. This is because sleep and memory are intimately connected.

If you have a busy life and regularly find yourself not getting enough sleep, then this will negatively impact your cognitive abilities – including your memory.

How much sleep should you be getting?

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Well, according to the National Sleep Foundation, you need a minimum of seven to nine hours of sleep per night. If you get this amount of sleep regularly, then within just a few days, you’ll see a tangible improvement to your ability to remember and recall things.

Now, I’ll be honest with you, maintaining a proper sleep cycle is not always easy (especially when the latest Netflix series has just been released!). But if you care about improving your short-term and long-term ability to remember things, then it’s critical that you try to get at least the recommended amount of sleep every night.

Are there ways to hack the sleep cycle?

Yes, there are.

Try these three things:

  • Have a fixed bedtime (preferably before 10pm)
  • Don’t eat too late
  • Make sure your bedroom is as dark as possible

Sleeping is a precious activity. It regenerates your body, clears your mind, and helps with the storing and retrieval of information.

However, don’t sleep just yet, as I want to tell you about another great way to increase memory…

3. Challenge your brain

When was the last time you challenged your brain?

I don’t mean challenged in the sense of overeating or undersleeping. I’m referring to stretching your mental capabilities through things like crossword puzzles, Sudoku and memory games.

To expand your memory bank, and to make your recall razor-sharp, you need to continually challenge your brain.

Feedback from Lifehack readers such as yourself, has suggested that brain training apps are a super-effective way of doing this. Used regularly, these apps can enhance your focus, attention span, problem-thinking ability and memory.

There are hundreds of these apps available (most of them for free), but I recommend starting out with one of the big three:

  • Peak (Android/iOS, free, 10 million+ downloads)
  • Lumosity (Android/iOS, free, 10 million+ downloads)
  • Elevate (Android/iOS, free, 5 million+ downloads)

If you normally spend a chunk of your week playing computer games, then instead of shooting and killing your enemies, why not let some of them live – while you put your attention into boosting your brain power!

Challenging your brain will strengthen your neural pathways and enhance your mental abilities. But don’t just take my word for it, try one of the apps above and see the positive benefits for yourself.

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4. Take more breaks

When I think back to my days as a budding entrepreneur, I distinctively remember working all the hours under the sun – and many under the moon too!

At that time, I believed that breaks were for the weak, and to become wealthy and successful, I needed to shed blood, sweat and tears.

However, I was wrong.

Taking regular breaks is the best way to keep yourself productive, creative and alive to opportunities. It’s also the best way to learn new information.

Let me explain.

Typically, when studying lots of new information, most people will spend hours reading it – in an attempt to learn and remember the content as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, they’ve overlooked something.

Namely, extended study sessions are rarely a good thing, as your ability to retain information naturally declines after a certain period of time.

It’s similar to physical exercise. You wouldn’t attempt to train vigorously for four hours in a row. Instead, you’d take regular breaks to give your lungs, heart and muscles adequate time to recover. Failing to do this will result in muscle cramps and overexertion.

It’s the same with your brain. If you overload it with information, you’ll suffer from mental fatigue.

What’s the answer?

Make sure you take regular breaks when learning new information. I recommend at least a 10-minute break every hour. (You may also want to take a look at the Pomodoro Method.)

If you don’t want to be as regimented as that, then take breaks as soon as you find yourself losing the ability to focus on the new material. Your brain will thank you – and your learning aptitude will move up a level.

5. Learn a new skill

I love this quote, as it’s 100% true – but frequently overlooked:

“Learning never exhausts the mind.” – Leonardo da Vinci

From my experience of helping to develop the careers of dozens of Lifehack employees, I can definitively say that participating in meaningful and purposeful activities stimulates the mind. It also reduces stress and enhances health and well-being.

Let me give you an example of this:

Imagine you work for a global financial institution in one of their call centers. You take over 100 calls a day – many of them complaints. When you started the job a few months back, you were excited to be in full-time employment and working for a household name.

Unfortunately, your initial enthusiasm quickly turned into frustration.

The endless complaint calls began to take their toll on you. And the supervisors irritated you too, as they were far too interested in micro-managing you – rather than letting you work in your own way.

Now, in the story above, the ending could be that you put up with a job you didn’t like, and led a dull and frustrated working life for years and years. However, an alternative ending is this: you channeled your dissatisfaction in to learning a new skill (computer coding). It took you a year or two to get up to speed, but it allowed you to successfully upgrade your career – and the ongoing learning made the call centre job much more bearable.

Clearly, learning new skills gives you impetus, focus and something to aim for. Your brain loves to learn, and you should tap into this by always seeking our new information. And when learning becomes a habit, you’ll find your ability to remember and recall things effortlessly, becomes a habit too.

6. Start working out

If you’re not already working out regularly, then here’s another reason to do so:

Exercising for 20-30 minutes three times a week will improve your long-term memory.

Regular exercise increases blood flow in your body and supplies the brain with extra oxygen and nutrients. And a well-nourished brain is a well-functioning brain!

“But I just don’t have the time?,” I hear you say.

Not a problem.

A research has shown that a daily burst of 60 seconds of high-intensity exercise, offered many of the benefits of the longer exercise routines.[2] So, if you’re short on time – now you know what to do.

Interested in getting started?

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Here are five different ways that will help you work out:

  • Join a gym
  • Join a sports team
  • Buy a bike
  • Take up hiking
  • Dance to your favorite music

7. Eat healthier foods

I’m sure you’ve heard the expression: “You are what you eat.”

This applies to your brain too.

The food that you eat helps determine your brain’s capacity to store and recall information. A poor diet (think junk food + soda!) harms not just your physical health, but your mental health too.

Fortunately, there are several foods that are especially good for your brain and your memory. These include: blueberries, celery and dark chocolate. But anything high in antioxidants will have a positive effect on your brain and memory.

Conversely, highly-processed foods and those loaded with sugar will have a negative impact on your memory. This is due to them providing insufficient nutrients for your brain – leading you to easily suffer from mental fatigue.

Want to be mentally healthy? Then eat and drink an abundance of these for brain health:

  • Turmeric – helps new brain cells grown
  • Broccoli – protects the brain against damage
  • Nuts – improves memory
  • Green tea – enhances brain performance, memory and focus[3]
  • Fish oilfish oil supplements can increase your brain power

Here’re more brain food options that improve memory!

Final thoughts

I sincerely hope these seven memory boosting ways that I’ve covered in this article will be of help to you.

You don’t need to implement them all. I suggest just trying the ones that appeal to you.

But, if you’re serious about dramatically improving your memory, then make a start right now on adopting one or more of the ways I’ve suggested. I’m confident you won’t regret it.

Featured photo credit: Eric Ward via unsplash.com

Reference

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