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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 March 23, 2021

Manage Your Energy so You Can Manage Your Time

Manage Your Energy so You Can Manage Your Time

One of the greatest ironies of this age is that while various gadgets like smartphones and netbooks allow you to multitask, it seems that you never manage to get things done. You are caught in the busyness trap. There’s just too much work to do in one day that sometimes you end up exhausted with half-finished tasks.

The problem lies in how to keep our energy level high to ensure that you finish at least one of your most important tasks for the day. There’s just not enough hours in a day and it’s not possible to be productive the whole time.

You need more than time management. You need energy management

1. Dispel the idea that you need to be a “morning person” to be productive

How many times have you heard (or read) this advice – wake up early so that you can do all the tasks at hand. There’s nothing wrong with that advice. It’s actually reeks of good common sense – start early, finish early. The thing is that technique alone won’t work with everyone. Especially not with people who are not morning larks.

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I should know because I was once deluded with the idea that I will be more productive if I get out of bed by 6 a.m. Like most of you Lifehackers, I’m always on the lookout for productivity hacks because I have a lot of things in my plate. I’m working full time as an editor for a news agency, while at the same time tending to my side business as a content marketing strategist. I’m also a travel blogger and oh yeah, I forgot, I also have a life.

I read a lot of productivity books and blogs looking for ways to make the most of my 24 hours. Most stories on productivity stress waking up early. So I did – and I was a major failure in that department – both in waking up early and finishing early.

2. Determine your “peak hours”

Energy management begins with looking for your most productive hours in a day. Getting attuned to your body clock won’t happen instantly but there’s a way around it.

Monitor your working habits for one week and list down the time when you managed to do the most work. Take note also of what you feel during those hours – do you feel energized or lethargic? Monitor this and you will find a pattern later on.

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My experiment with being a morning lark proved that ignoring my body clock and just doing it by disciplining myself to wake up before 8 a.m. will push me to be more productive. I thought that by writing blog posts and other reports in the morning that I would be finished by noon and use my lunch break for a quick gym session. That never happened. I was sleepy, distracted and couldn’t write jack before 10 a.m.

In fact that was one experiment that I shouldn’t have tried because I should know better. After all, I’ve been writing for a living for the last 15 years, and I have observed time and again that I write more –and better – in the afternoon and in evenings after supper. I’m a night owl. I might as well, accept it and work around it.

Just recently, I was so fired up by a certain idea that – even if I’m back home tired from work – I took out my netbook, wrote and published a 600-word blog post by 11 p.m. This is a bit extreme and one of my rare outbursts of energy, but it works for me.

3. Block those high-energy hours

Once you have a sense of that high-energy time, you can then mold your schedule so that your other less important tasks will be scheduled either before or after this designated productive time.

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Block them out in your calendar and use the high-energy hours for your high priority tasks – especially those that require more of your mental energy and focus. You also need to use these hours to any task that will bring you closer to you life’s goal.

If you are a morning person, you might want to schedule most business meetings before lunch time as it’s important to keep your mind sharp and focused. But nothing is set in stone. Sometimes you have to sacrifice those productive hours to attend to other personal stuff – like if you or your family members are sick or if you have to attend your son’s graduation.

That said, just remember to keep those productive times on your calendar. You may allow for some exemptions but stick to that schedule as much as possible.

There’s no right or wrong way of using this energy management technique because everything depends on your own personal circumstances. What you need to remember is that you have to accept what works for you – and not what other productivity gurus say you should do.

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Understanding your own body clock is the key to time management. Without it, you end up exhausted chasing a never-ending cycle of tasks and frustrations.

Featured photo credit: Collin Hardy via unsplash.com

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