It’s been more than a year since your last raise. You’ve been waiting for your boss to bring up the topic, but your patience has worn thin. As a hard-working employee, you know you deserve a salary bump, so you’ve decided to take the lead on the conversation.
Before scheduling the meeting, you need to do your homework. Find out how to discuss a raise with your boss and boost your chances of getting the salary increase you deserve below.
Time it Right
Most companies plan their budgets once a year. No matter how much your boss wants to give you a raise, it might be impossible if you don’t ask around this time frame. Pairing your request with a positive performance review or the end of a successful project can also give it some weight. Just don’t schedule the meeting when your boss is stressed or otherwise cranky, because you’re more likely to get the green light if they’re in a good mood.
Highlight Your Top Contributions
You can’t just waltz into your boss’s office, request a raise, and expect them to just grant it. If you want more money, you have to prove your worth. Share the outcome of successful projects you’ve recently worked on, and if possible, quantify their results. This is also a good time to remind your boss of any instances you exceeded their expectations.
Keep the conversation strictly business. Using personal reasons to justify your cause — i.e., you’re expecting a new baby — isn’t a good business case to give you more money.
Research Industry Averages
Numbers don’t lie, so conduct research to find average salaries for your industry. The Bureau of Labor Statistics has wage data for more than 800 occupations, offering both national and local statistics. Unless you’re already paid well above average, these numbers should be helpful when stating your case.
Ask for a Next-Steps Timeframe
It’s likely your boss will tell you they need to think about your request or ask permission from their own manager. This is normal, so don’t let it discourage you. However, you don’t want six months to pass without word on your raise, so ask when you can reconvene to discuss the matter.
Prepare For Rejection
Hopefully your boss will happily give you a raise, but it might not go that way. If you’re rejected on the spot, don’t just slink out of their office. Instead, find out what would need to happen for you to get this raise. If the company simply doesn’t have the money, that’s beyond your control. However, if your boss just doesn’t think you’re there yet, ask them to provide specific goals you’ll need to reach to get a salary increase.
If your boss is unwilling or unable to pay you a fair salary, it might be time to seek new opportunities.
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