Focus Empowers
Professional Development

How to Ask for a Raise

If you are serious about your career and know in your heart you aren’t being paid what you are worth, you need to be able to present your evidence, not opinions, in a logical manner that will lead to your being financially rewarded. One thing is certain – mixing money and emotions can be a critical mistake. If you believe you have earned a raise, then leave all emotions, except happiness, at home. Gather your evidence and be prepared to accept having your proposal for a raise declined. It can happen even if you do deserve a raise. Your company may not be in a position to reward you immediately. That shouldn’t stop you from asking for a “review of your salary or bonus structure.”  And even better, you may get just what you ask for!

Mixing money and emotions can be a critical mistake

Here are a few things to remember when you are ready to ask for a raise. Your boss will be looking for measurable ways to determine if you have earned a raise. Create a record of your accomplishments and be ready with your presentation. For example.. “The company has profited significantly because I ____________________.”; “I’ve saved the company money by doing ____________.”  However, if your boss disagrees with your assessment of your value, it’s an opportunity to find out what areas you can improve on. You can ask for specific goals and clearly define what will happen if you improve and meet her expectations. Under no circumstances can you allow yourself to be resentful. Constructive criticism is a valuable tool if you respect the person who is giving it. As a rule, criticizing an employee can be difficult for supervisors. The truth is, if your boss is willing to endure that discomfort, they believe you are capable of improvement. So, don’t resent the criticism. Thank them for it. Learn from it and try to make changes. You should worry when you stop receiving constructive criticism. Beyond that, if your request is denied and you want to stay with the company, you will have a clear plan for future success

Create a record of your accomplishments and be ready with your presentation

If the conversation doesn’t turn out the way you want, you still have control over your situation. You can find another job if necessary. But, before you leave your existing job you should spend some time looking in the mirror. Ask yourself, “If this were my company, would I be impressed with how I have performed?”  If your answer to that question is a clear “yes” and you feel your talents would be better suited elsewhere, a change may be in order. Changing jobs may lead to new opportunities with larger salaries. And if you a take a job with a lower salary, but it gets you to a workplace that recognizes your value, you’ve made a necessary change.

Now that you are prepared for the possibility of having your request denied, it’s time to switch gears. Pump yourself up! Focus on the talents you bring to the table. Great companies need talented individuals to be successful. In the end it’s about finding the career and company that match your talents.

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