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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 22, 2019

How to Focus and Concentrate Better to Boost Productivity

How to Focus and Concentrate Better to Boost Productivity

We live in a world of massive distraction. No matter where you are today, there is always going to be distractions. Your colleagues talking about their latest date, notification messages popping up on your screens, and not just your mobile phone screens. And even if you try to find a quiet place, there will always be someone with a mobile device that is beeping and chirping.

With all these distractions, it is incredibly difficult to concentrate on anything for very long. Something will distract you and that means you will find it very difficult to focus on anything.

So how to focus and concentrate better? How to focus better and produce work that lifts us and takes us closer towards achieving our outcomes?

1. Get Used to Turning off Your Devices

Yes, I know this one is hard for most people. We believe our devices are so vital to our lives that the thought of turning them off makes us feel insecure. The reality is they are not so vital and the world is not going to end within the next thirty minutes.

So turn them off. Your battery will thank you for it. More importantly though is when you are free from your mobile distraction addiction, you will begin to concentrate more on what needs to get done.

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You do not need to do this for very long. You could set a thirty-minute time frame for being completely mobile free. Let’s say you have an important piece of work to complete by lunchtime today. Turn off your mobile device between 10 am and 11 am and see what happens.

If you have never done this before, you will feel very uncomfortable at first. Your brain will be fighting you. It will be telling you all sorts of horror stories such as a meteorite is about to hit earth, or your boss is very angry and is trying to contact you. None of these things is true, but your brain is going to fight you. Prepare yourself for the fight.

Over time, as you do this more frequently, you will soon begin to find your brain fights you less and less. When you do turn on your device after your period of focused work and discover that the world did not end, you have not lost an important customer and all you have are a few email newsletters, a confirmation of an online order you made earlier and a text message from your mum asking you to call about dinner this weekend, you will start to feel more comfortable turning things off.

2. Create a Playlist in Your Favourite Music Streaming App

Many of us listen to music using some form of music streaming service, and it is very easy to create our own playlists of songs. This means we can create playlists for specific purposes.

Many years ago, when I was just starting to drive, there was a trend selling driving compilation tapes and CDs. The songs on these tapes and CDs were uplifting driving music songs. Songs such as C W McCall’s Convoy theme and the Allman Brothers Band’s, Jessica. They were great songs to drive to and helped to keep us awake and focused while we were driving.

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Today, we can create playlists to help us to focus on our work. Choose non-vocal music that has a low tempo. Music from artists such as Ben Böhmer, Ilan Bluestone or Andrew Bayer has the perfect tempo.

Whenever you want to go into deep, focused work, listen to that playlist. What happens is your brain soon associates when you listen to the playlist you created with focused work and it’s time to concentrate on what it is you want to do.

3. Have a Place to Go to When You Need to Concentrate

If you eat, surf online and read at your desk, you will find your desk a very distracting place to do your work. One way to get your brain to understand it is focused work time is, to use the same place each time for just focused work.

This could be a quiet place in your office, or it could be a special coffee shop you use specifically for focused work. Again, what you are doing is associating an environment with focus.

Just as with having a playlist to listen to when you want to concentrate, having a physical place that accomplishes the same thing will also put you in the right frame of mind to be more focused.

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When you do find the right place to do your focused work, then only do focused work there. Never surf, never do any online shopping. Just do your work and then leave. You want to be training your brain to associate focused work with that environment and nothing else.

If you need to make a phone call, respond to an email or message, then go outside and do it. From now on, this place is your special working place and that is all you use it for.

Every morning, I do fifteens minutes of meditation. Each time, I sit down to do my meditation, I use the same music playlist and the same place. As soon as I put my earphones in and sit down in this place, my mind immediately knows it is meditation time and I become relaxed and focused almost immediately. I have trained my brain over a few months to associate a sound and a place with relaxed, thoughtful meditation. It works.

4. Get up and Move

We humans have a limited attention span. How long you can stay focused for depends on your own personal makeup. It can range from between twenty minutes to around two hours. With practice, you can stay focused for longer, but it takes time and it takes a lot of practice.

When you do find yourself being unable to concentrate any longer, get up from where you are and move. Go for a walk, move around and get some air. Do something completely different from what you were doing when you were concentrating.

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If you were writing a report in front of a screen, get away from your screens and look out the window and appreciate the view. Take a walk in the local park, or just walk around your office. You need to give your brain completely different stimuli.

Your brain is like a muscle. There is only so much it can do before it fatigues. If you are doing some focused work in Photoshop and then switch to surfing the internet, you are not giving your brain any rest. You are still using many of the same parts of your brain.

It’s like doing fifty pushups and then immediately trying to do bench presses. Although you are doing a different exercise, you are still exercising your chest. What you need to be doing to build up superior levels of concentrated focus is, in a sense, do fifty pushups and then a session of squats. Now you are exercising your chest and then your legs. Two completely different exercises.

Do the same with your brain. Do focused visual work and then do some form of movement with a different type of work. Focused visual work followed by a discussion with a colleague about another unrelated piece of work, for example.

The Bottom Line

It is not difficult to train your brain to become better at concentrating and focusing, but you do need to exercise deliberate practice. You need to develop the intention to focus and be very strict with yourself.

Set time aside in your calendar and make sure you tell your colleagues that you will be ‘off the grid’ for a couple of hours. With practice and a little time, you will soon find yourself being able to resist temptations and focus better.

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Featured photo credit: Wenni Zhou via unsplash.com

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