In an ideal world, your manager would automatically increase your salary so that you never had to negotiate a raise. Unfortunately, that’s not how most companies work. And while asking for more money can be difficult, preparing for this conversation properly can help. Here are seven things to think about before the big ask.
1. Timing Is Everything
Many employees assume the best time to negotiate a raise is during an annual performance review. However, you can discuss a salary increase anytime, especially if your job duties have changed. Have you taken on extra tasks or successfully completed a major project? Approaching your supervisor now can reinforce your value to the organization. Your manager might also be open to a pay hike chat right after the company posts big profits or lands new business.
2. Make Your Intentions Clear
No one likes to be caught off guard, so don’t spring the idea of a raise on your boss without letting on in advance that your plan is to discuss compensation. Giving your supervisor time to look at your solid work history will work in your favor.
3. Preparation Is Key
Your boss may not know if you routinely go above and beyond your job duties, so build a business case by outlining specific achievements to prove you deserve a raise. Gather facts showing how you boosted sales or received positive feedback from customers, because if you’re not armed with measurable results, you can’t quantify what you’re asking for, says the Harvard Business Review. Instead of focusing on your salary bump, discuss the numbers that justify your pay increase. If you found a more affordable vendor that saved your organization $100,000, and you’re asking for a $10,000 raise, present this to show that you’re requesting a fraction of what you saved the company, recommends SELF.
4. Know Your Worth
Do you know your job’s market value? If not, read industry reports and use online salary tools such as Randstad’s 2016 Salary Guides or Monster’s Salary Wizard to determine a realistic wage increase. You can also talk to connections in your industry. Having comparative data in hand can help take emotion out of the conversation, says the Wall Street Journal.
5. Practice Your Pitch Out Loud
By role-playing with a friend or rehearsing in front of a mirror, you’ll hear the weak spots in your proposal and be able to organize your thoughts. It’s a good idea to think about how your supervisor might react when you negotiate a raise, so you can best plan your responses. Displaying positive and confident body language may also help your case.
6. Don’t Just Talk About Money
If you suspect your employer has no wiggle room in the budget, think about other ways to negotiate a raise. Consider asking for extended benefits, a flexible schedule, a subsidized gym membership, more vacation days or out-of-state professional development opportunities, suggests Kiplinger. You may also offer up these options to your boss to complement a lower raise offer.
7. What If Your Boss Says No?
If your supervisor refuses your request, ask when you can revisit the issue. Try finding out what tasks you can take on or which skills you can develop that would result in a raise.
If you approach your manager with solid facts, a positive attitude and various options, you’ll be able to articulate your case with ease, which will help your bottom line and your confidence.