How to Ask for a Raise

leadership Dec 03, 2018

The end of the year, for many of us, means its a critical time for reflection and review. And while we may be reflecting on our own performance and job satisfaction- our company may be doing so as well. For many, the end of the year can be a time for decision making about renewing current contracts, looking for new opportunities, or even possibly for seeking greater compensation. If you (like many) feel it is time for a pay increase, you may be feeling some hesitation and anxiety about how to tactfully handle that conversation.

Inter-office communication plays a crucial role in any office decision – but perhaps never more so than when it comes time to ask for more money. It’s easy to blow your big chance by being unprepared or blundering through the request, and it’s also easy to feel undervalued and unappreciated if management doesn’t handle the request appropriately. This is a critical juncture in most employee-boss relationships and must be handled with care.

Take these tips into consideration before going in for the big request, so no matter what the result, you can feel confident that you have done your part:

  1. Be prepared. Striding into your boss’ office one Monday morning asking for a 10% raise based on no evidence or without a circumstantial argument will probably not end well. Don’t feel you have to wait a long to time ask, but do be thoughtful and prepared before you jump in.

  2. Present the facts. Have you saved your company ‘x’ dollars in waste this year? Are other similarly experienced PMPs in your market making $20,000 more a year? Are you traveling more or taking on more responsibility? Asking for a raise ‘just because’ may not garner a great response, but a reasonable and prepared request certainly deserves a conversation.

  3. Remember- timing is key. Let’s be fair- we all have our good and bad days, and you want to wait for a ‘good day’ to bring up the topic of compensation. Outside of your annual review space, it is best to set aside time to discuss your raise when the company is doing well, your boss is pleased, and you are performing optimally. The stars don’t have to align perfectly to get you to yes, but it certainly helps to wait for as time when things feel optimal.

  4. Be clear, concise, and confident. Remember, your request is based off of the belief that you deserve more. Be humble but bring your A game to the discussion. Don’t just focus on why you want more money- focus on why you deserve more as a key employee who provide a service to their organization. Remind them of the value you continue to create for them.

  5. Have a back-up plan. Unfortunately- even the best prepared request can be met with no on occasion, and for reasons outside of your control. Your department budget could be set for the year, they might be on a spending freeze, or maybe they follow a very specific format for compensation. No matter the answer, you have to be prepared to take that news in stride. Many people put off asking for what they deserve for fear of being rejected, but its important to know that it isn’t always a reflection of how they see you as an employee. Take the opportunity to learn from this experience and take any advice or recommendations they have provided in stride.

Asking for a raise can be scary- but if you are prepared and confident in your work, it can also be an opportunity for growth. Whether the answer is yes or no, take the feedback your employer gives you to heart, and learn from the experience. Following our suggestions on clear, proper communication and preparedness can help ensure that the process will go smoothly for your and your boss, no matter what the ultimate decision may be.

For more expert advice on how to master important communication strategies within your office, check out PDUs2Go’s Communicating for Results. From inter-office meetings to international presentations, PDUs2Go’s 60 PDU course on communication helps prepare you to nail your part.

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