Tips for asking for a pay raise

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You’ve been in your current position for more than a year, you’ve consistently taken on more responsibility — and you’ve done well. So isn’t it time you got a pay raise?

However, talking to your supervisor about your salary isn’t something you should take lightly. These tips can help you prepare to have this all-important conversation.

Time your request appropriately

Timing is crucial when discussing a pay raise. First and foremost, broach the subject soon after having accomplished something impressive, such as completing a project faster than expected or landing more business from an important client. Additionally, make sure your supervisor isn’t too busy or under a lot of pressure, as he or she might not have the time to properly consider your request.

Ask in person

Email might seem like an easy way to talk about money, but it’s rarely the best option. And a phone call isn’t always convenient. Instead, make an appointment to speak with your manager in person — preferably somewhere quiet at a time when you won’t be disturbed.

Prepare properly

To make the conversation flow smoothly, list out why you deserve a raise. Think of all of your accomplishments, and note how much additional responsibility you’ve taken on.

To know how much to ask for, it’s critical to know what the market value is of your job, as Marie G. McIntyre points out in her CNBC article “10 tips for how to ask for a raise.” You can find average salaries for your job on Glassdoor or Indeed. However, keep in mind that if your responsibilities have grown but your job title hasn’t changed, you should research salaries for the job title that matches what you actually do. For example, if your title is “associate marketing manager” but you’re managing entire projects and teams, the salary for a marketing manager might be more appropriate.

Have alternative options

Businessman and author Professor Christopher Voss once said, “Salary negotiations shouldn’t be limited to just salary. Salary pays your mortgage, but terms build your career.” And those are wise words to keep in mind — especially if your supervisor can’t offer you a raise. Consider asking for alternatives like additional training or the opportunity to work on specific projects to help you advance. In addition, in her article “The Best Way to Ask for a Raise” for The Balance Careers, Alison Doyle recommends asking for flex work or telecommuting options.

Note that even if you get disappointed, it’s important to always remain professional during salary negotiations. If your manager can’t give you a raise or any other concessions, keep in mind that it’s more likely to be company policy than a decision aimed at you personally. Ask what you need to do to qualify for an increase in pay, and be prepared to do the extra work. And if your employer simply doesn’t have room for a raise, maybe it’s time to look for a better paid position elsewhere.



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