It’s easy to imagine what more money could do for you. You could pay off debt faster and save more for retirement. Or maybe you are imagining that beach vacation or a car that doesn’t require bi-monthly stops at the mechanics.
One way of getting more money is getting a raise, but the first step is convincing your boss that you’ve earned it. Asking for more money for the work you’re already doing can be one of the scariest conversations you have, but with the right approach, it doesn’t have to be. Learning how to ask for a raise will help you feel calmer and increase the chances of getting a yes from your boss.
- Begin with why. Find the thing that both you and your boss want, and start the conversation moving toward that. One good example is longevity, telling your boss that you want to work at the company for a long time. That way your boss will know that he or she doesn’t have to replace you any time soon. Giving an existing employee more money is way easier and less expensive than finding a new employee.
- Come with data. Arm yourself with specifics about how you’ve saved the company money or won business. Then, use salary.com, glassdoor.com, or the Bureau of Labor Statistics to find the average for your position and geographic area. If you’re below average, that’s a great position to start from. Don’t use an emotional plea, complain about your salary, or tell your boss that you have expenses you can’t cover.
- Think of other options besides money. A raise can be financial, but it can also be a freedom raise. If you ask for a 5% raise and they say they can only do 2%, you can ask them to split the difference with another week of vacation, or the privilege of working from home one day a week. Think creatively to get what you really want.
- Show your boss what he or she will get in return. Come in with a plan for your next year, and spell out how you’ll continue to take on more responsibility, increase your skills, and solve your boss’s problems. Think about how you can make your supervisor look good to his or her supervisor. Be a resource worth investing in.
- Choose the best time. Right after a big win is the best time for asking for more money. Right after a huge mess is a great time to leave your boss alone and not ask for anything. You don’t have to wait for your annual review, but you should ask for a raise at every review. Gauge your boss’s mood and find a time when he or she is not especially stressed.
There are no guarantees you’ll get a yes, but following these tips will help you go in with more confidence. If you do get a no this time, ask for feedback about what you can do over the next six months to increase your chances of a raise next time. Then schedule a specific date and time to discuss the raise again.
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