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How to Ask for a Raise

Tough economic times or not, being paid what you’re worth is at the top of any wish list. Asking for a raise, however, can be an uncomfortable experience even when we don’t believe we are getting paid our worth. Here are a few simple steps to ask for the raise you deserve.

Get ready (You need to prepare):

Nothing shows your worth better then actual documentation in black and white.

Save your “great job” e-mails in a file on your computer. The documentation should not only be from higher ups, but also your peers. In fact, you should be saving all correspondence you receive acknowledging something you did great. Caution, this does not include, e-mails such as “thanks for bringing me lunch today,” but it should definitely include e-mails that say “great job on the presentation” or “you really saved the company money and time by doing XXX.” In other words, you want to present documentation showing you saved either time, money or had some other positive impact on the bottom line. Show your worth to the organization, bring a copy of your documentation to the meeting.

Look over your calendar for the past year. Make a list of your important contributions and accomplishments. Be sure to include the dates and outcome. The events should be meaningful and beneficial to the company. In other words, organizing the annual holiday party, while helpful, is not worthy of a raise.

Consider going green and sending the documentation to your boss electronically before the scheduled meeting.

Get set (What to do the day of the meeting):

Don’t underestimate the power of a good breakfast. It is still the most important meal of the day even for grown ups. Preparing yourself physically will help your brain power to answer those tough questions.

Leave early and get settled into work. Rushing around at the last minute or arriving to work late on the important day will leave you flustered and unable to put your best foot forward. Also, arriving late speaks volumes on your work performance - and not in a good way.

Action (What to do during the meeting):

Remain focused during your meeting. You want to present as many examples of the positive effect you have had on the organization. You may be a really nice person, but it’s all about the numbers.

Make sure that the conversation remains on task. You are there to talk about your raise, not about a project status unless it directly relates to your request.

Make sure the conversation does not become personal – remain professional.

Silence can be your friend. Allow the information you presented to sink in. These moments of silence are valuable and allow both you and your manager time to gather your thoughts.

If you are talking, make sure that you do not continuously repeat the same information over and over again.

Stay within the time limits set for the meeting.

Recover (After the meeting):

Send a thank you email (or note) to your manager for taking the time to meet with you. You can reiterate a few of the points that you touched on during the meeting. Do not replay the entire session.

How to react:

If the answer is no, it is not the time to throw a temper tantrum or pity party. You can request an additional meeting with your boss to go over the reasons that your request was turned down.

Handle the answer professionally and continue to perform your best. The reason may not be personal, it may be the financial climate of the organization. Whatever the reason, you want to maintain a positive attitude toward your manager and the job, you never know what the future holds.

If the answer is yes, celebrate and enjoy your new salary. A word of caution, do not gloat about your raise to your co-workers. Don’t make the boss regret saying yes.

Now go celebrate.


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Content copyright © 2013 by Dianne Walker. All rights reserved.
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