Asking for a raise at work is probably one of the most difficult decisions you will have to make in your career. It is even much more difficult if you and your boss are not best buddies or if your company has instituted several protocols that you have to go through to make this possible. In any case, these shouldn’t stop you from demanding an increase if you feel you are worth it.
You should also understand that your boss will probably not increase your salary simply because you demanded it. Therefore, it is very important that you consider these steps if you want to ask your boss for a raise he will never refuse.
1. Gather a stockpile of leverage
First of all, before you start making demands, you need to consider your worth objectively. You want to take into account your job responsibilities including leadership tasks, your level of education, years of experience and training, and your track record of achievements. These are the ammunitions you will need.
Your boss will never give you a raise simply because you have worked longer than everybody else. Also note that the standard response you will get is that the company does not have enough in its budget to support your raise. When asking your boss for a raise, you will need to assess your worth to be able to convince your boss to see your point.
2. Seek relevant information
Secondly, try to gather useful information. You want to know if the company’s budget can actually support your demand, who has the power to make your wish come true, if there’s a performance review in place, if the salary increase is by rank or by fixed schedule, and what others in similar positions in the industry are earning.
The last thing you want to do is ask your boss for a raise when the company is posting losses or going over your boss’ head to ask his/her superiors for salary increase. Both doesn’t usually turn out well.
3. Build your case & negotiate
The ammunitions we talked about earlier: your accomplishments, the initiative you took that led to the success of that deal, etc. Now is the time to put them to use. Don’t go around saying things like, “I need the money and you know I deserve it because I have worked for X number of years”. That is weakness and it doesn’t really help anyone.
You will need some good negotiation skills. If your boss is not budging on the salary, tell him/her you will consider non-monetary benefits e.g. an official car, wardrobe allowance, rental assistance, or a better job title. Do not be greedy, be reasonable in your demands & don’t threaten to quit if your demands are not met, you are not indispensable—unless you really are.
4. Don’t take rejection personally
There is a fairly good chance you will get turned down when asking your boss for a raise, but that should not stop you from making your demands. If this happens, don’t develop a negative attitude towards your boss or your work. Continue to keep improving yourself and if you really have to move on to a better job, don’t burn bridges. Keep the relationship with your boss cordial. It has far reaching advantages than burning bridges.
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