One of the most common concerns of long-time employees is how to ask for a raise. The thought of setting up a meeting with your manager to ask for more money can be daunting. It's even tougher if you don't know your true worth, or are suffering from impostor syndrome.
Just like in an initial job interview, the most prepared employees have the best chance of landing a raise. The great news is, if you're here, you're already well on your way.
Is there someone in your office who does less work, but makes more than you? Are employees in other buildings in your city wielding a higher paycheck?
You may already know that you should be paid a higher salary based on experience. If not, do some digging online.
Figure out how much others in your field are making. If you can, narrow your scope to those who are in your city or state.
Once you know what others are worth, think about your experience with your employer. What have you done to go above and beyond? How has that affected the company's growth and finances?
This research will give you something to refer to when speaking to your boss. Maybe even more importantly, it'll help you feel secure in your value as an employee.
You can then rock the following steps with confidence.
Studies show that people are more likely to say yes right after breakfast or lunch. Their stomachs are full, and they've either just begun the day or just come off a much-needed break.
In contrast, they're more likely to say no right before lunch, or toward the end of their shift, when they're tired and hungry. Even an hour or two in timing can make a huge difference.
Set up a meeting when your manager is in a good mood. Don't ask during busy times of the day or year when they're at their most stressed.
There are plenty of excellent opportunities for bringing up a pay raise, such as:
- After a great financial year for your company
- After a major success that you helped to happen
- During a quarterly review or another meeting with your boss
- When the fiscal year is about to end, and the company is considering next year's budget
Discuss your raise in person, but make sure you're not in a busy conference room surrounded by other employees.
Instead, schedule a meeting with your manager in advance and treat it with professionalism.
Dress to impress and go into the meeting with confidence. You've done your research, so you've got this.
A one-on-one, in-person conversation will give you your biggest chance at success, but if your manager can't meet in person, a video call is your next best shot.
You want the meeting to feel personal, and asking in a phone call or via email gives you less chance to connect.
Know what you're going to say before you meet with your manager. Your script doesn't need to be word for word, and you don't want to sound like you're reading from a teleprompter.
You do want to state your desired salary upfront and have facts to support why you deserve a raise.
Think of it like you're writing a persuasive essay. Back yourself with facts and figures. Use your research to show that you know your industry and your worth within it.
Don't be pushy, but be assertive. Cite your recent accomplishments in the workplace and speak about the value you bring to the company.
After listening to your pitch, your manager will likely have follow-up questions for you. If you don't have answers, you'll look unprepared despite all you've done to get there.
A good way to anticipate follow-up questions is to have a friend or loved one listen to your script. They may see areas for clarification or extra details that you wouldn't anticipate on your own. Likely, these are the same questions your boss will have as well.
Don't stress too much about this, though. If you know what you're talking about, it's unlikely you'll face any unanswerable questions.
Stay polite throughout the conversation, and don't argue with your boss. Even if you don't receive the raise you want, be gracious and thank them for their time. After all, you don't want to ruin your future opportunities.
If you do get the raise, consider following up with a thank-you card or email. Tell your manager how much you appreciate them taking time out of their busy day to sit down and listen to what you had to say.
Don't make a big deal of it in the office, though. Remember that you've earned this raise—it isn't a gift. You can celebrate with those close to you later.