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Years ago, it seemed no matter how much I tried to budget or find ways to lower my bills, I still did not have much money left over to put towards my savings. And if I didn’t have much money to put towards my savings, where was I going to get the money to put towards my retirement, make any investments, or open a business?
Let’s face it. Sometimes it takes money to make money and you need to make more money to save more money.
The same way we try to look at our budgets and find ways to cut costs, we need to be looking at our existing income streams and find ways to increase our incomes.
If you are currently working a full-time job and you haven’t gotten a raise in some time, it may be a good idea to ask for one.
Before Asking for a Raise
Just because you want a raise does not mean you deserve to get one. To increase the chances of you getting a raise, you need to make sure you are adding value to your company first.
Be Truly Outstanding
It is hard to justify getting a raise if you are just doing the bare minimum.
You have to be excellent and not just good and certainly not mediocre. Be that person that sets the bar high for everyone else.
Take on Additional Tasks or Side Projects
If you are given the opportunity, say yes to more responsibilities or participate in side projects. This exposes you to other aspects and areas of your company.
The more you do, the more you learn and the better you become. Be the go-to person that your boss thinks of first and can rely on to take on important tasks.
Be a Problem Solver
Don’t let issues prevent you from getting things done. If you encounter an issue, try to find smart and clever ways to resolve it yourself.
In some cases, you may have a good solution in mind but you are not in a position to make that decision. However, rather than just raising the issue and letting your boss take care of it, provide your thoughts and opinions on how you think the problem can be solved.
This shows your boss that you have a take-charge attitude and have the company’s best interest in mind.
Getting Ready to Ask
Even if you are already doing all of the above things and adding value to the company, you need to set your expectations and make the necessary preparations.
Why You Need a Raise Does Not Matter
Everyone wants to make more money, whether it is to pay for rent, save up for their kids’ college tuition, or go on nicer vacations.
You need to convince your boss that you deserve a raise by providing reasons how you have earned it and not why you need it.
Write down all of your major accomplishments and how you have added value to the team and the company.
Do Your Research
While we would all like to be making million dollar salaries, it is important to be realistic.
There are many sites out there that you can use to find out what the market rate is for someone in your role and with your responsibilities. These sites include Salary.com, PayScale, Indeed.com, and Glassdoor.
This step is extremely important because you need to understand how much you should be asking for and whether that number is justified. And if you don’t know your numbers, your boss can use that against you.
Practice, Practice, Practice
This is an important conversation that you are going to have with your boss, so don’t just wing it.
Spend the time to rehearse the conversation in advance. Practice in front of a mirror so you can see your facial reactions and get a sense of someone looking back at you when you are talking.
Think of possible responses from your boss and possible reasons you might be given as to why you shouldn’t get a raise. By rehearsing and preparing for possible responses, it will make you more confident going in and able to explain your position as to why you deserve a raise.
Asking the Question
Once you have confirmed that you are adding value to the company and have made the necessary preparations for the discussion with your boss, it’s time to go for it.
Pick the Right Time
While you might be ready and excited to march into your boss’ office to ask for your raise right away, take a moment to determine if it is the right time.
Did the company recently have a bad earnings report? Or have there been layoffs in your department? If it does not seem like the right time, then it would be better to hold off on having that conversation until things get better. The last thing you want to do is appear insensitive or not in tune with the company.
If the company is doing well, go ahead and schedule the time to have the conversation with your boss. It would be to your advantage if you can schedule the conversation right after you received a good performance review or when you just completed a big task or project.
Be Prepared for a “No”
Unfortunately, there can be times when no matter how much you deserve a raise or how much you have prepared yourself for the conversation, your boss may still turn you down.
What should you do then?
As disappointed as you may be, handle it with grace. Before the conversation is concluded, make sure you understand why your request is being rejected and agree on actionable next steps in order for you to get a raise.
Take some time to reflect on the discussion and decide if there is any truth in what your boss is saying or was it all just an excuse. If it is the latter, you may want to consider getting a new job (either within your current company or at a different one) where you would be appreciated and compensated accordingly.
You are now ready to go ask for your raise. Good luck!
If you have any other tips on how to successfully ask for a raise, please share in the comments section below.