According to the 2016 PayScale Compensation Best Practices Report, 75% of people who ask for a raise, receive one. Wow! So, how can you make more money in your current job? Here are 3 Steps you can take right now when considering asking for a raise.
- Know Your Value
- Make Your Case
If you are considering asking for a raise, it is a good idea to focus on FACTS and EVIDENCE. As a new employee, there are a lot of unknowns; however, once you have been with a company for a while, there is usually more information available to you.
RESEARCH: Do your homework: How are raises handled in your company? Are they given out at a specific time each year? Are they merit-based? Performance-based? Or is it typically a fixed cost-of-living increase only? If you work for a company that doesn’t have a standard raise or performance review system, you will want to ask your supervisor for a meeting to discuss your performance. Consider creating your own benchmark timeframes that you present to your supervisor in order to discuss your performance, such as quarterly.
For example, your company may conduct an annual performance review, and that is when raises are typically awarded. The company may even have a standard percentage that they offer each year, with specific metrics on how the raise will be calculated. Is it best to have a discussion about compensation before the performance review, because personnel budgets are finalized before the review process? Know how it works in your company, so that you can work effectively within the system.
If raises are calculated based on performance, be ready to ‘quantify your raise’ by knowing your value. If they are predetermined based on metrics, you may still have a chance to ‘make your case’ for a higher raise. Try using the phrase “salary adjustment” instead of a raise, especially if your research reveals that you’re being underpaid compared to your peers.
KNOW YOUR VALUE: Gather your facts and evidence, and provide written materials to back up your raise request. These can include:
- Previous performance evaluations
- Letters of recommendation - especially from happy clients [internal and external]
- Salary data/research [salarywizzard.com]
- Job postings for similar positions
- A write-up of your work accomplishments which should be quantified [numbers, dollar figures, percentages].
- Outline what you are working on right now, and the impact these efforts will have on the company. Your raise isn’t just about what you’ve done, but what you’re going to do.
- Lastly, while preparing your research, ask yourself: If I received this information, what would make me want to say yes to the request?
MAKE YOUR CASE: Justifying your raise request.
From your research, hopefully, you were able to learn how your company handles raise requests. When making your case, do not ask for a raise just because a couple of other people you work with got raises. Begin by working within your company’s existing process, or schedule a time to talk with your boss about your performance. You can also use a free service like GetRaised to assist you with the process.
If a raise isn’t available, ask about a one-time bonus instead. Or negotiate for a non-cash benefit — maybe an extra vacation day, or flexibility in your work schedule, or even the ability to telecommute and work from home one day a week. Though surprising, at the end of the discussion, you may want to ask for additional responsibility, which can lead to more experience, and a higher paycheck down the road. Remember, it’s about adding value.
If your request for a raise is turned down, the answer is “No,” not “Never.” The timing may not be right at the moment. If the answer to your request is no, ask what you can be doing to position yourself for a salary increase in the future. Ask for a specific timeline for revisiting the request in the future — let’s say, six months from now.
CLOSING: So where do you go from here?
Extra tips: Research your job title. Are you getting paid what you should? Figure out where there’s room for you to increase your value — would taking some additional training help? Getting a certification or degree? What’s missing from your work experience that can help you get to where you want to be? Do you need to volunteer for new projects at work to get exposure to some different areas? Figure this out.
Even if you’re not ready to ask for a raise, or you’re not looking for a new job right now, you can work on steps one and two for successful salary negotiation in the future. Good luck in 2017!