We could all use more in our paychecks every two weeks, but negotiating for a raise can be an intimidating process. If it’s not handled well, asking for a raise can leave the impression that you’re dissatisfied with your current position or unwilling to continue working hard unless you see more money. But handled correctly, negotiating for a raise will show your manager than you’re aware of your worth and the contributions you make to the organization – and result in a bigger paycheck. Follow these tips to help you successfully negotiate for a raise:
Timing is Everything – Your annual performance review is a natural time to bring up the subject of a raise, but you don’t have to wait for it to have the conversation. Successfully completing a big project or the release of positive quarterly numbers are both good times to broach the subject. Conversely, be aware of what’s going on in the company. If the financials are weak or other employees are being laid off, the raise conversation should wait.
Keep it Professional, Not Personal – You may know that new car payment is stretching your budget to the limit, but your boss doesn’t need to. Your reasons for asking for a raise should all be directly related to your performance and contribution to the company’s success, not your personal financial situation.
Be as Specific as Possible – Simply saying you’re a stellar contributor or that your numbers are twice that of everyone else on the team isn’t enough – you need to show it. Come to the conversation armed with as much data as possible related to your specific contributions and their impact on the company’s bottom line. Present your case as though you’re pitching a client – and you’re the product.
Rehearse Your Pitch – You don’t need to memorize what you’re going to say word-for-word, but you should have an idea of what you’re going to say and how you’re going to say it. Remember, your nerves are going to kick in and if you draw a blank on what you need to say, you’re wasting your manager’s time and harming your case.
Be Prepared to Hear No – Despite your worthiness and preparation, there’s a chance you won’t get the raise. If this happens, ask for constructive feedback and a list of specific milestones you need to achieve to make the raise happen. At that point you can reevaluate your place in the company and your financial situation to determine whether to stay or start looking for a new job that meets your salary requirements.