How to Ask for a Raise – A Guide for the Underpaid

Whether you’re asking for a cost-of-living pay increase or you know that you’re worth more than your current salary. Asking management for a raise can be one of the more daunting tasks an employee can experience. You can’t just walk into your manager’s office and demand a higher salary willy-nilly. It takes grit, research and confidence to prove to management that you are worth it. Luckily, we have some strategies you can use on how to ask for a raise.

how-to-ask-for-raise-guide-for-underpaid

Do you deserve a raise?

Before we show you the light at the end of the tunnel on strategies about attaining that raise, you must ask yourself first, “Do I deserve a raise?” The wise people at Money Management International offer up some great questions you should ask yourself before meeting with management.

  1. Do you meet and exceed the expectations of your job description?
  2. Are you known as a person who gets things done?
  3. Do you take on additional responsibility outside the realm of your job description?
  4. Do others look to you for advice and leadership?
  5. Are you constantly increasing your knowledge of your industry?
  6. Would at least one person at work describe you as indispensable to the company?
  7. Do you deliver consistent or exceptional results?

If you’re able to answer “Yes” to many of these questions, congratulations! You just completed your first step in figuring out if you’re due for a shiny, new raise. Now let’s talk about what you should do to strategize for that big meeting with management.

How to prepare to ask for a raise

You’ve determined by answering the questions above, that you are deserving of a raise. But how to strategize for it is whole other animal. Follow these tips to get the results you want: A raise you deserve.

1. Do your research

By consulting others within your industry and/or doing some online research, you can find out what the going rate for your position is. Make sure to be thinking about your experience, education and place of residence as measuring parameters. With the information obtained, you can generally figure out if you’re below or above the average regarding your salary. Sites like glassdoor.com are a great starting point to research salary statistics and more.

2. Build your case

No matter how great of a relationship you have with your manager, you will need to bring proof that you deserve a raise. Look back and compile projects and other tasks you’ve done that went above and beyond your typical job duties. Or, projects that consistently impact the company positively. Remember, numbers do not lie. By attributing measurables like profit increases, client interaction stats, work process improvements and more–you can show management the top-notch talent they have in front of them. Proving to them that it would be in their best interest to keep you, rather than losing you and the production you bring to the table daily.

3. Timing is everything

There is a time and a place for everything and that includes asking for a raise. According to The Balance, you need to familiarize yourself with your company’s review policy. Do they do a quarterly, every six months or a yearly review? You can find out this information by discreetly speaking with human resources or your co-workers to figure out what the timeline is.

Remeber to use common sense when approaching management for a raise. If your company is losing money or it’s the extremely “busy season,” it might be in your best interest to find a more economical time or when the slower months arrive. You won’t have much luck if your manager is too stressed and/0r busy to listen to salary concerns.

4. Practice

Once you’ve compiled your research and set up a time with your manager to discuss the possible raise, it’s important to practice what you are going to pitch. Just like with any presentation, speech or meeting–you must be confident. Even if it’s not your strong point, how you present yourself is key. If you take a few days before the meeting to write down what you want to say, then practice it out loud in front of the mirror or with a friend, you can expect to have a greater look of confidence compared to just walking in without practice. If you need some tips on how to “fake confidence,” check out this WikiHow.

What if they say “no” to your raise request?

Alright, you’ve researched, built your case, timed your meeting perfectly and practiced heavily beforehand. The meeting seemed to go positively and now you’re waiting for an answer. However, at this time management said they cannot approve your request for a raise. What happens now?

You can approach this disappointment in a few different ways.

1. Set up a plan with your manager with a specific timetable and specific goals for you to reach your desired salary for the next review

2. If management is unable to provide a raise, you can try to negotiate with perks in the meantime such as:

  • Additional PTO
  • Title Change
  • flex time and more

3. Search for a new position elsewhere

Depending on the circumstances, you may just have to look for a new job elsewhere. Especially if you don’t buy the reasons management can’t accommodate your request(s). By job hunting, you are more than likely to see the raise you wanted, sometimes more. With an offer from another company, you can decide to either take the position or leverage it with your current place of employment to negotiate a new salary.

Now that you know how to ask for a raise, you can go about and attain it. Don’t be afraid to ask your friends, family and co-workers for tips as well. The more you put yourself out there, the easier each meeting will be.

If you enjoyed this article, you might also like the 5 Toxic Workplace Policies Employers Should Avoid. Also, check out What Americans are Doing With Their 2018 Tax Returns.

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