When it comes to the workplace, one thing employees always seem hesitant to do is ask for a raise. And it's understandable, as such a conversation can be very awkward and uncomfortable. Especially if you're the type that doesn't like confrontation, this is one conversation you might be pushing off. You really should fight that fear and stop hesitating though.
Yes, asking for a raise can be very awkward, but only if you make it that way. As an employee, you should feel entitled and empowered to speak to your manager about your goals and expectations. If you feel like you aren't being paid enough, you have every right to ask for more money… as long as you can support your claim. Here are some tips to successfully get that raise:
Understand your value
First and foremost, you need to understand your value as an employee. You're more than just a salary. Your bring a lot to the table, and probably more than you think too. You just need to quantify that. Start with making a list: write down everything you're capable of doing, from big to small. The list is probably a lot longer than you think. Understanding what you're worth as a employee will help you in your salary negotiations. Some skills are priceless and you want to make sure your employer is aware of that.
Research, research, research
Once you've properly quantified your value as an employee, you'll next need to do the research and understand your market value. A good place to start are websites such as Salary.com and GlassDoor.com. Median salaries will differ depending on where you're located and how many years of experience you have, but these websites will give you a rough idea of how much people in a similar role as you are making. While you should take these numbers with a grain of salt, you should still research and understand the competitive landscape.
Communicate your accomplishments
It's time to talk to your manager once you feel comfortable with all the information you've gathered. While you may understand the value you bring to the table, your boss might not be aware of all the benefits of having you as an employee. It's important to start the conversation by communicating your accomplishments. Your boss may never have thought about why you deserve a raise, and now is your opportunity to tell him or her. Highlight your key accomplishments in the past year and why you're such an integral part of the team. No need to be shy now: it's your time to boast and tell the manager why the team wouldn't be able to function without you.
Share your goals with your boss
Obviously, accomplishments are a big factor in why you should get a raise, but it's not all about the past either. What can you contribute in the future? A raise is also an investment in you as an employee and your manager will want to make sure that you can continue taking on more responsibility and being a vital part of the team. So be honest. Share your goals with your boss and give a clear picture of where you want to see yourself and your role in the next year. It's important to always be open and honest so that you don't find yourself hating everything about your job down the road.
Be prepared for rejection
Lastly, it's important to be prepared for any outcome of the conversation, including rejection. Unless your superior owns the company outright, chances are very high that your boss might tell you that you can't get a raise right away. After all, no one except the very high up can justify spending more without approvals and more meetings. While you might want to walk right out and say "I quit," take a step back to ask and understand the reasons why. Perhaps a raise isn't within the department budget or you only qualify for a raise during performance reviews. Whatever it is, create an actionable plan and timeline with your boss. When will you get a raise and what do you have to do, other than wait, to get one? While you might not be eligible for a raise right now, you should understand what you need to do to get there so you can start working toward a higher salaried future.
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