Do you look at your paycheck and think, “where has all my money gone?” There’s no doubt that money makes the world spin, and this is doubly true when there isn’t enough of it to go around. However, the last thing you want to do is work harder to earn more. Instead, it’s about being smarter.
A clever way to boost your earning power is to get paid more for the job you already do. Yes, it’s time to ask for a raise. Pay rises are notoriously touchy topics as it involves instigating a difficult conversation with your boss. And, it’s not as if he or she is about to hand you more cash on a whim. They only do it when you push the envelope.
The fear of rejection is strong, as is rejection itself – if you don’t argue coherently, you might ruin your chances of a pay bump for the foreseeable future. Therefore, it’s imperative to approach the subject professionally and clinically. Bringing emotion into the equation is dangerous since how you feel is devoid of facts evidence.
You need proof. For those who don’t know where to find it, these are the best places to search.
The Warning Signs
It’s not unheard of for employees to go without a pay increase when they deserve one, even when the signs are obvious. For instance, you might make the company significantly more than they pay you, which means they can fork out for your services. After all, another employer will do when they realize your value.
The key is to spot the signals. Then, you can leverage them in a conversation with the management team. There are five main ones to keep an eye out for, but the most useful are the signs that highlight your worth. Have you taken on more responsibility since you first joined the company?
If you have, it should come with a pay increase since you’re completing more tasks and working longer hours for the same money. Therefore, your salary has effectively decreased. You can use a percentage decrease calculator to calculate pay reductions and use the figures to showcase your point.
Anyone who wants to demand the money they are owed has to keep tabs on the environment. When you do, the glaring indicators will hit you in the face, and you’ll wonder why it took so long to see what was right in front of your eyes!
The chances are, you know people in the same industry who do the same job as you. You’re peers and friends, which isn’t rare when you have a career in common and hang out at popular events. Up until now, you might have avoided “talking shop” as you didn’t want to bring the office to your social life. Alternatively, you might think it appears unprofessional.
Still, they have the information you require since their salary directly impacts your ability to ask for a raise. By pointing to competitors, you can highlight how people with the exact responsibilities and workload as you are earning more. This comes with an underlying agenda – you’re shopping around.
A word of warning – always stop short of saying you’re going to leave. It’s a dumb move because your boss might call your bluff. If you’ve got nowhere to go, you could be out of a job. Instead, let the elephant in the room do all the talking for you without saying a word.
A leader understands the subtext of every conversation – it’s why they’re in charge – but putting it on the record might backfire royally.
The Asking Process
How you approach your boss will dictate proceedings. You never want to annoy them from the beginning as it’ll lower the odds of getting what you want. Of course, you don’t have time to waste by beating around the bush. With this in mind, it’s essential to tailor the process to your boss.
For example, you should be decisive with someone who is upfront. Send them an email with the topic of the meeting in the subject line. You can say something like, “I’d like to talk about the prospect of revisiting my salary”. Other leaders might prefer a less direct method, so it could be better to drop it into another conversation that’s linked.
Regardless, you should be to the point when making your case as you might complicate the matter otherwise. A fantastic way to stay on track is to jot down notes beforehand. You can make a small list of your best accomplishments and include them within your argument, such as “I have more responsibilities, such as X”.
Remember that asking for a pay raise means you are saying that you’re more valuable than when you were first hired. Therefore, you must showcase your value. People don’t get paid more just because they’ve been with an employer for a long period.
As the saying goes, I want doesn’t get. So, it’s important to prepare yourself for your boss to say no. There are several reasons for this response, but it’s down to you to figure out why. Once you do, you can take stock and consider your options.
Consider the company’s resources for a moment. The business might not have the money to pay your extra, not if they suspect it will have a domino effect throughout the workplace. Of course, that’s not your problem. But, before you throw your toys out of the buggy, you should ask what you can do to secure a raise in the future, and how long it will take.
Your boss might say money is tight for the foreseeable, which means there isn’t much wiggle room. In that case, it’s time to look elsewhere for a higher-paying role. Alternatively, they could ask you to sit tight for three months and revisit the topic.
If you ask and they can’t give you an answer, it’s a sign that you will never get a pay increase no matter what you try.
At the end of the day, you must have the courage to pop the question.