Chances are good the company you work for has structured the way it grants raises to you and the other employees.
Often, employees are told to prepare for a possible raise after their first annual evaluation or, in some instances, after six months.
Until then, you earn whatever original amount you both agreed to when you were hired.
But what happens if:
- You discover your colleagues make a great deal more than you do?
- Your job entails so many more responsibilities than they told you it would?
- It’s obvious you should make more money and you can’t wait for your evaluation?
- You’re no longer a new-hire and you want a raise because you deserve it?
Go ahead and ask, but be prepared for a “no.” The good news is there are ways to bolster your chances of getting a “yes.”
Can you justify the raise?
There needs to be a valid reason for your raise. For example, if you recently discovered nearly everyone doing the same job at different companies makes substantially more money, you can point out you’re underpaid based on your expertise.
If you’re responsible for a significant increase in profit, income or productivity, argue your efforts merit a pay increase. Provide proof of your impact. Demonstrate how the company benefits from your work. Let them know how valuable you are.
Have you checked the boxes?
Before you request a raise, make sure there’s nothing to stand in the way of your boss’s agreement. For example, suppose there’s a weekly report everyone is to submit to their managers, but nobody really does and you fell out of the habit.
So when you ask for a raise, your boss says, “I’d like to say yes, but your manager says you didn’t submit your weekly report the past six weeks.”
Even if nobody is bothers with the weekly report, it’s still required – and that makes it a valid reason so deny your request.
Simply put, make sure you meet all your requirements before you ask for more money.
Do you need the money?
Suppose you fell into financial hardship because life is complicated and money gets tight. To ask for a raise based solely on personal need will likely backfire without tangible justification.
If you need a higher salary because your colleagues make more than you for the same work, that’s one thing. But if you need more just because you have bills to pay, that’s unlikely to persuade your boss to shell out more money.
You must be able to explain to your boss why you deserve it. The exception, of course, is if your bosses realize they need to keep you around and know you’ll leave if you don’t get a raise.
Be careful about asserting ultimatums. Don’t threaten to leave if you don’t get the raise unless that’s your actual intention. And don’t be surprised if they offer more money but expect more work from you.
Prepare for next time
If your boss denies your request for a raise, ask what you can do to ensure a raise soon. Listen to the feedback and take the steps necessary to where your boss feels a raise is merited.
If you feel it’s time to move on to another job, negotiate a salary that’s closer to what you feel you deserve.