Everyone wants to earn more, but asking for a raise might feel like you’re putting your entire career on the line. What do you do if your boss says no, or doesn’t believe you’ve earned it, even if you do? Although it can be nerve-wracking, you can’t always expect management to recognize when hard work deserves greater compensation. Refusing to advocate for your own career growth ultimately leaves you stunted and, in enough time, resentful of peers who are progressing.
First, understand that talking about money shouldn’t be taboo in any healthy workplace. The core definition of a job is exchanging one’s knowledge, expertise, and services for payment. Even those who are the most passionate about their work aren’t in it for charity. Like it or not, our income shapes our quality of life, and there’s nothing wrong with wanting more when you genuinely feel you deserve it. Here’s how you can go about knowing when to start the conversation and a few pointers on how to ask for a raise.
You Have Worked For The Company For At Least A Year
Asking for more money only two months after being hired isn’t going to bode well. This gives off the impression that you weren’t even satisfied with the initial salary you agreed to work for, and it’s likely to cloud your boss’s perception of your work ethic going forward.
You may need more money to manage your financial obligations, like credit cards and student loan debt. But asking for a raise right away isn’t the ideal solution. If you are only asking for a raise because you need to pay debts, consider alternate options. Refinancing student loan debt with a private lender, for example, can help make monthly payments more manageable with your current budget.
It can send the wrong message for you to ask for a pay increase before you’ve even had an annual performance review. You have to invest your time into your work and produce real results before anyone can decide whether you’ve earned greater compensation.
There are, however, certain cases in which you may be entitled to request more money early in your career. Let’s say you’ve been hired to perform a specific role, but four months down the line, you’ve been promoted to a different title, are taking on more responsibilities, even working more hours but have no additional income to show for it.
You Have Evidence Of Your Work
Numbers and data are the best way to drive your case home. If you tell your boss, “I think I deserve a raise,” and they ask you why, you need to have facts ready. What have you contributed to the company that’s entitled you to more money? Did you increase your sales by 25 percent? If you’re working more, then quantify your new responsibilities and their impact as much as possible. Avoid adopting a defensive stance, though.
You don’t need to argue your way into a raise; you just need to be ready to explain your position and why you feel you deserve one. If your boss is completely unwilling to even hear you out, there’s a bigger issue at hand that you need to evaluate. Do you want to stay with a company that does not help its employees grow? Stagnation can, in many cases, be more of a company’s fault than anyone else’s.
Your Boss Is Available
This is a simple pointer, but it is important enough that it merits attention. Timing is everything; if you decide to ask your boss for a raise when they’re stressed, overworked or walking out the door, the conversation is not likely to fare well in your favor. Schedule a time to meet, and treat your conversation like something worth sitting down to discuss. You may find that the entire meeting only lasts five minutes, but you should make sure it takes place when your boss has the time and energy to give you their full attention.
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