We all want more money; no need to deny it. It’s what we work for, otherwise we would be volunteers. Yes, I love my job, but I’d be a liar if I said I’d do it for free.
2015 is looking like the year that a raise may hit your paycheck. Employers are finally realizing the “spoils” of the recession (aka low wages and no increases) are a thing of the past. The job market for skilled and professional level opportunities is tightening up, and people aren’t desperate for work. In turn, wages are slowly on the rise. Some Labor statistics are showing increases up to 17%!
The first thing you need to realize, as many before you have realized, is that the fairy tale isn’t going to happen; unless you are missing a shoe that is. I can see it now…
You’re hard at work early in the morning wrapping up a project you’ve had going on for a while. You smile as you take a sip of coffee thinking of how proud your boss will be. Gee, coming to this company 5 years was the best decision you’ve ever made! Your boss sends you an email that they would like to see you in their office. Sauntering in, after the high of your recent accomplishment they sit you down, and your boss tells you how much your work is appreciated, how smart you are, how important you are to the team. To show their gratitude, they are giving you a $10K raise for all you have done!
Then your alarm clock goes off and you realize it was all a dream. IT’S NEVER GOING TO HAPPEN! WAKE UP!
Ok, so now here is reality, or at least a few possible scenarios of why you may be ready to ask for a raise:
You are tenured within your organization and have shown consistent progress.
You have taken on additional projects and/or responsibilities outside of your “normal” job.
You were promoted without an increase.
You have started leading teams, whether it be project or day-to-day.
You realized the worst that can happen is they say no.
When you are ready, consider this:
If you can’t show why you deserve and increase, then you probably don’t deserve one.
Are you asking for a raise because you feel underpaid OR because you feel undervalued? There is a HUGE difference. Underpaid? Great! Ask. Undervalued? You have bigger issues…
While diverting to negativity can be instinctual if you’re feeling underpaid, presenting yourself as a positive investment will be much better received. Avoid comparisons, complaints and overall whining.
Don’t base your request strictly on the time you have been with the company. You were hired at a specific salary to do a specific job; you must be able to prove you have gone ABOVE and BEYOND those expectations. Playing par won’t win you anything.
Know your value. Research salaries of similar roles within your industry and come up with a realistic number. If you aren’t sure, reach out to industry contacts or a recruiter and ask.
DON’T EVER give an ultimatum. You may as well be walking out the door when you do, because that’s where you are heading anyway.
Don’t apologize for what you are asking for “I’m sorry to have to ask, but I really need a raise,” or lead in with a reason for them to say no, “I know the economy has taken a toll on profits, but I really need…” Basically, STAY AWAY FROM BUTS.?
Now do it! Be confident, don’t make it personal, present yourself, sell yourself, and see what happens. The worse they can say is no :-)