Getting a raise at work is almost always on the priority list. No matter how much money you make, wanting a higher salary in return for the long hours and hard work that you put in is important. A pay raise is an excellent career goal, no matter your position is in the company. But, it’s not always easy to ask the question or justify to your manager.
Many people don’t know what to say when they want a pay rise. So, they avoid asking at all, even if it’s deserved. Getting a pay increase doesn’t have to turn into an overwhelming or nerve-racking event. Once you know how to get a raise at work, you can feel confident in your methods of achieving it.
Keep in mind that it’s rare anyone will earn more money for no reason. You should have specific reasons in mind that justify an increase in pay. If you just want a raise because you need more money to pay your bills or by a few extras, it probably won’t go over well with your boss.
But, if you think you’re overdue for an increase in pay or a promotion, it’s achievable. Getting your boss to pay you more money isn’t impossible. If you’ve gone above and beyond what’s required in your job, it’s time to start earning more money.
Best Way to Ask for a Raise
This guide will focus on some proven ways to get a pay increase or promotion. Some people hold themselves back because they worry about the consequences of asking for these extra rewards or recognition.
Can you get fired for asking for a raise? Not when it’s justified. Oftentimes, the worst thing your boss can do is turn you down, or tell you they’ll review your question at a later time. But, if you’re a stable employee, it’s unlikely you’ll lose your job over this issue.
If you’re unsure how to get a bigger paycheck, you should use the tips below. There is more to it than just asking your boss for more money. If you want a better chance of getting a raise, there are a few things you should do first.
Stay One Step Ahead
If you already have a raise on your mind, you might be thinking about what you can do to prove you’re worthy of it. One of the best things to do is to get into your boss’ head as much as possible. If you can stay one step ahead of what your employer wants you to do, you’ll be proving a lot.
You can show your boss that you’re able to work independently. It also shows you’re a go-getter, and you want what’s best for the company, not just yourself.
You might think it sounds impossible to tap into your boss’ mind, but it’s not as hard as it seems. Think about how to improve your performance at work, and what your boss might like to see. If you try to put yourself in their shoes, it shouldn’t be hard to come up with ways you can work smarter.
Build Positive Relationships
It’s not always enough to go to work every day and just do your job. Yes, that’s what you’re there to do. But, it probably won’t earn you any ‘extra points’ with anyone, including your boss. When you take the time to be positive and upbeat at work, you’re doing a lot for yourself.
Being positive allows you to build relationships and friendships. You’ll develop alliances with your co-workers and employers alike. Sometimes, co-workers will end up having to vote on things like raises. So, if you form positive relationships with them, you’ll have a better chance of getting the green light based on what they have to say about you. Obviously, becoming friends with co-workers also has its problems.
Don’t Become Stagnant
You may have been initially hired based on one skill. You might even be good at the job you currently do. But, if you only do that specific job day in and day out, there’s no real reason you should get a raise.
Pay increases tend to go to people who are willing to keep learning and growing. Almost every job in the country has room for improvement. That improvement usually comes by learning a new skill or gathering more information. This is especially true in jobs that change with time, like positions that use technology. Staying up to date on those things will give you an advantage. Instead of having to hire someone new all the time to keep up, your boss can depend on you. They’ll be happy to reward you for that.
People like teachers and some medical professionals have to continue their education throughout their career. There is no reason it shouldn’t apply to other jobs as well. If you show that you’re eager to learn and stay on top of your job position, your employers are sure to recognize it.
Go the Extra Mile
It’s a good idea to think about a pay increase from your boss’ standpoint. They’re not just doing you a favor or rewarding you for a job well done. They are making an investment in you. They are investing in the work you’ve done, the work you’re doing, and the work you’ll do in the future. Most bosses aren’t willing to invest unless they see a return.
So, to get a promotion, you have to prove to your boss that you’ll be able to provide a return on their investment. How do you stand out among the other employees – especially ones in the same position? How can you prove to your boss that by giving you more money, you’ll be able to give them something in return?
Extra effort will always be appreciated, whether it’s ever acknowledged or not. You may feel like it goes unnoticed, but there’s a good chance your employer sees the extra work you put into everything. It shouldn’t take long for you to get rewarded for that since they’re confident in their investment of you.
Have Reasonable Expectations
If you want to ask for a raise, you’re more likely to get it if it’s reasonable and not something completely far-fetched. You may have a certain amount in your head. But, if it doesn’t add up with statistics, you could be grasping at straws. If you ask for too much money without the facts and figures to back it up, it’s a risk. It could even offend your boss if they do happen to know the average salary for your position.
To make sure the amount you’re asking for is reasonable, do your research. What is the average pay grade for someone doing your job? Then, factor in your area of the country, how long you’ve been there, etc. Having a real idea of what other people make in your position will help when it comes to negotiating how much of a raise you should get. If your boss isn’t willing to meet up with that average number, you might consider looking for a place that will. But, keeping your raise reasonable is your responsibility.
Be Willing to Negotiate
Once you’ve done your research, be prepared to be flexible. You’ll have a better understanding of what you’re worth and what people in your position make all across the country. You might even have an exact number in your head that you’re shooting for. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it shouldn’t be set in stone.
If your boss isn’t willing to pay that much, don’t get discouraged. After all, any pay increase is more than what you’re making now. Looking at it from that perspective can help you to feel satisfied no matter what your employer is willing to offer.
As long as the amount your boss is willing to give is fair, it’s better to be flexible and willing to negotiate, rather than be stuck on one particular amount. Settling for an unfair amount is one thing. If you know your worth, you can prove that to your boss.
But, if they’re willing to meet you with a fair number, it’s not a bad idea to accept it. There will always be more promotion opportunities in the future. You shouldn’t automatically assume this will be your only raise throughout your employment. If you can live with the number you’re given, keep working toward your next increase, and it may come sooner than you think.
Set Up a Meeting
One thing you don’t want to do is catch your boss off guard. If they feel ambushed or rushed into making a decision, it’s less likely that decision will go in your favor. Ask them for a specific time that works for them, so you can both clear a spot in your schedule.
Not only will your boss appreciate the courtesy, but setting up a meeting will be helpful for you, too. It will give you time to prepare what you want to say. You can also think of any questions your boss might ask, and neither one of you will feel stressed or inconvenienced. Chances are, your boss will be more than happy to talk about your career growth if they don’t have other things going on.
Record Your Successes
One way to prove to your boss that you’re deserving of a pay raise is to give him/her actual proof. You don’t have to brag about your successes to anyone else, or even your boss. But, you should be able to prove to your employer that you’re deserving of a promotion. One of the best ways to do that is to have a record of what you’ve accomplished at your job.
Have you started a new program for the company? Did you single-handedly boost the company sales quota? Maybe you got recognized for some of these accomplishments as they happened, and that’s great. But, you shouldn’t count on those moments of recognition to get you a pay increase later on.
Even if you received a pat on the back at the time, chances are no one is going to remember those accolades in a year or two. So, write them down and file them away. You don’t need to bring them up to anyone, but you can note their importance as they happen for your records. When you’re ready to ask for an increase in pay, you can use those accomplishments to show you deserve it. It’s hard to argue with proof of accomplishments!
Take on More Work
Before you consider asking for a raise, ask your boss a different question: What else can you do? Can you add another project to your plate? Can you stay late at the office one night a week? Taking on more responsibilities is a great way to show that you care about your company and want it to succeed. It also shows your dedication and passion for what you do. When your boss notices, they’ll be more inclined to pay you more.
Better yet, don’t wait to ask what more you can do. Instead, take the initiative of doing it yourself anyway. If you’ve been working at your company for a while, you probably know what could be done to give you a bit of extra work. Taking that initiative can be impressive to your employers, especially if it results in something positive for the company.
Be a Cheerleader for the Company
Your attitude toward the company you work for should always be as positive as possible. As stated earlier in this guide, a positive attitude to work will help you with your co-workers. But, it will also help to boost general morale within the company itself.
If the business you work for is going through a dry spell, or someone made a mistake, staying positive can make a difference for everyone. It’s more likely to get people motivated and back on track, rather than dwelling on the problems the company is facing.
What is the Best Way to Ask for a Raise?
Using the tips listed above, you should be well on your way to earning a raise on your own. As you can see, most of them involve putting in behind-the-scenes work. Once you’ve done that, it’s time to ask for a raise.
Even if you know you deserve it, asking for a raise can be intimidating. The best thing to do is to be straightforward with your boss. Explain why you want the pay increase, and why you deserve it. Telling your employer how you feel and giving them reasons they should increase your pay is vital.
You may not be able to control the outcome of asking for a raise. Many times, your employer may suggest they need time to think about it. In these instances, don’t keep pushing. As long as you’ve been honest and straightforward from the start, you don’t need to continue to beg for a pay increase. That will end up being a turn off for your boss.
How Often Should I Expect a Raise?
One of the most significant obstacles people face is not knowing when it’s appropriate to expect a raise. You shouldn’t go into your boss’ office after a few months on the job and demand more money. But, you also shouldn’t have to slave away at the same job for five years without a pay increase.
Promotions and raises usually come in one or two-year increments. It all depends on your place of employment. If you’ve been at a job for over two years and haven’t seen an increase in pay, it’s fair to ask for one. Of course, this all depends on the work you do and whether it deserves a raise or not. If you may have done nothing for two years, you can’t expect the same pay increase as someone who puts in extra effort day after day.
What Can I Do to Get an Increase in Pay?
The most important thing you can do when wanting a raise is, to be honest with yourself. Have you been practicing the above tips? If not, your boss may not be looking at you closely for a raise. It starts with putting in the extra effort in every aspect of your job.
If raises are hard to come by at your place of employment, don’t get discouraged. Sometimes, a job well done can be rewarded with things like bonuses. While these aren’t permanent pay increases, they can help. They can also be motivating to continue to do your best work.
The process of getting a raise doesn’t happen overnight. You may need to show you deserve it for quite some time before your boss is willing to invest in you. But, by following some of these suggestions, you’ll increase your chances of getting a well-deserved pay increase.
If you need to earn more money, it may be that you need to train for a new career. Some companies and industry sectors always seem to be struggling. If that’s the case, your boss may not be able to offer any extra financial rewards. Many people change careers when they’re over 30.
Perhaps you do need to make more money to pay your bills and don’t have time to prove your worth? You may be able to make more money each month by finding a job where you work unsociable hours.
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