How to Ask for a Pay Raise

Monday, October 28, 2019, 6:00 AM | Leave Comment

If you’ve been working at your job for years, made some important changes that benefitted your employer, or honed your skills and increased your value, you’re probably deserving of a pay raise.

If your employer doesn’t automatically recognize your contributions and offer that pay raise on their own, you may need to start that discussion and ask for a pay raise.

This can be stressful to do, but by preparing and asking for a pay raise the right way, you can increase your chances of getting that higher paycheck that you deserve.

How to Ask for a Pay Raise
Image Source: Pixabay

  • Start By Developing Your Skills

    If you’d like to ask for a pay raise, you’ll need to justify why you believe you deserve to earn more. One way to do so is by demonstrating the many skills you have that are valuable to your employer.

    Before you start considering your current skills and identifying talents to develop, take a step back and think about what your employer looks for in an ideal employee.

    Look at some past job descriptions that your employer has posted and consider which skills are relevant to your position, as well as to upper-level positions.

    Now, start brainstorming ways you have demonstrated these skills.

    For instance, you might demonstrate your organizational abilities by managing multiple projects with different deadlines, or show your creativity and problem-solving skills by identifying and implementing a solution to a problem your employer faced.

    Chances are you’ll find you don’t have or could stand to improve some of these skills, too.

    Look for ways to you can develop those skills, such as by gaining additional experience in volunteer work, taking online courses, or pursuing professional development opportunities, like attending conferences and trainings.

  • List Your Accomplishments

    In addition to outlining your skills, you should also prepare a list of your accomplishments. Do this before you ask for a raise, since it’s easy to overlook or forget important contributions you may have made years ago. If you made changes that saved the company money or found ways to retain customers, be prepared with the monetary value that each of these accomplishments holds for your employer. Think about how each of your accomplishments in your job have helped your employer and increased your value to them.

    As you gather your accomplishments, you may also want to prepare yourself with copies of positive annual reviews or positive feedback you’ve received from teammates or supervisors. Consider times you’ve taken on additional responsibilities, too, and assess whether any of your current job responsibilities go beyond those indicated in your job description.

    Having your accomplishments prepared will let you speak more intelligently to your contributions at the company. This small step can help you to get a bigger paycheck.

  • Consider Asking for a Promotion

    Rather than just asking for a pay raise, you may want to ask for a promotion and a corresponding pay raise. Advancing within a company via asking for a promotion is a great way to ensure career success, but a promotion doesn’t benefit just you. In many cases, your company would benefit, too.

    To make your case for a promotion, you’ll need to communicate the ways that your employer would also benefit from this structure change. Maybe you’ve been working on a particular project for years and could easily step into a vacant supervisory role. Or maybe you’ve identified a reason why your position should absorb some responsibilities that are currently distributed through different teams, allowing for a more natural and smoother operation.

    Before you ask for a promotion, think about how any structural change could affect other employees or teams. If you can prepare plenty of reasons why the promotion offers tangible return on investment to your employer, you’ll have a better chance of getting approval.

  • Plan the Discussion

    Regardless of whether you’re asking for a pay raise alone or want to ask for a raise paired with a promotion, time the discussion well. Schedule a meeting with your supervisor or with the company owner ahead of time, and make sure that the meeting is long enough so that you can comfortably have the entire discussion without interruption.

    You may want to strategically schedule this discussion so that it takes place after you’ve successfully completed a major project, so that you can use your latest accomplishments as a way to open the conversation.

    Ask your friends or family to role play to help you prepare for this meeting, and practice how you’ll open the discussion with your supervisor. Have your practice audience ask you questions about your skills, contributions, and why you deserve a pay raise, and practice responding. The better prepared you are, the better you will be able to communicate and advance your career.

Asking for a pay raise can be a stressful experience, but it can also be a rewarding step that ensures you are paid well for your talents, experience, and contributions.

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