8 Tips for How to Ask for a Raise

If you are in a company that has an annual performance review and pay adjustment, count yourself in a very lucky group.  For the rest of the hard working souls out there (and maybe even a few in the annual review) asking for a pay increase is a stress-inducing event.  With a well thought out set of actions, however, you can enter into those discussions feeling at the top of your game.

Here is how you prepare and actions you should take:

Document your performance.  Don’t just go storming into your manager’s office and pound your fist on their desk asking for more pay.  Keep track of your performance as you go through the year.  Gather data and statistics that clearly demonstrate your contributions.  If you did something that impacted the bottom line, that is as good as it gets.  You must be able to demonstrate your contributions over the course of the year.  This is the best possible argument you can make for paying you more.

Do your homework.  Spend some time with a variety of sources understanding the pay range for your position in your industry.  You won’t win points by interviewing your peers and asking for their salaries. Certainly if you have insight on that information that is good to know, but keep the fact that you know to yourself.  You can research online and with HR to find out the salary range for your job.  You may discover you are being paid competitively; and if that’s the case, you need to temper that in your expectations.

Set up time to meet.  You need to have the time dedicated on both calendars and ensure your meeting is private. Let the boss know the objective of your meeting and stay focused on that when you meet.  You want to be professional at all times no matter how the conversation may go.

Take documentation to the meeting. Make copies of the information (your accomplishments and salary data) you will want to reference so the boss can study it alone following your meeting.

Discussion of ‘the number’.  Do not ask for a specific number.  If asked, give a range that you find acceptable.  In general, tend to avoid discussing a salary amount, but rather leave that to the manager to determine.  Since you gave them your data on accomplishments as well as your salary study, they can use that as a basis for how they respond.

What to expect in the meeting. Don’t expect a commitment to a pay raise during your meeting.  They most likely will have to go crunch a few numbers and consult with the higher management.  You DO want to schedule time for follow up and closure.  Don’t walk out of the meeting not knowing what to expect and when to expect it.

Closure. Should they turn down your request, it is appropriate to ask what the rationale is and to find out when they would be willing to address this subject again.

Stay professional.  We tend to get very emotionally involved in the topic of our salary.  You will win points if you remain professional and straightforward in all of your conversations on a raise, even if they turn you down.  This is not the time to voice your dissatisfaction or anger.  If you have a bone to pick with management, make that another separate meeting.

With some preparation and thought you can reduce the stress of this important event and turn it into something which really demonstrates that you are a professional rock star.

For more career tips and advice – FREE newsletter and eworkbook: http://CareerMakeoverToolKitShouldIstayorShouldIGo.com/  From Dorothy Tannahill-Moran – Your Career Change Agent from www.nextchapternewlife.com and www.mbahighway.com

Dorothy Tannahill-Moran is a certified life and career coach. She works with aspiring professionals who are looking for career growth, advancement and entry into the “C” suite. As well, she works with people to overcome the sometimes daunting task of changing careers. With over 21 years in management, Dorothy has coached, trained and guided other professionals who have gone on to impressive and fulfilling careers. Her personal philosophy about careers is: “It’s not JUST a job; it’s half your life – so love your career”. You can check out her resources, blog and services at Next Chapter New Life and MBA Highway.

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