We’ve all been there. Working a job where your hours are 9-5 but you end up putting in 9-10 to show your commitment. After several months of putting in extra hours, covering for your absent coworker, or simply realizing your value you’ve decided your wallet deserves some growth. If you’re on the fence about asking for a salary increase, do a little self evaluation to determine if now is the right time to ask.
- You’re in good standing with your boss. A couple of weeks ago my friend told me a horror story about someone who asked for a raise. This guy showed up to work late, took excessive time off, and wasn’t even with the company a year! That is a prime example of when not to ask for a raise. However, if you and your boss are close, why not capitalize on your positive relationship? If you’ve noticed some extra pep in your boss’s step or she’s treating everyone to lunch, this might be a good time to jump on the opportunity and talk money.
- You’ve done your research. Perhaps you’ve stumbled upon an article while reading through Forbes or LinkedIn because you stay knowledgeable on workplace trends like any smart professional. If you came across this Forbes article about the fastest growing jobs in America, then you’ve most likely already started calculating the zeroes into your paycheck. Also, Glassdoor also has a new function that allows you to determine whether you’re being paid sufficiently. So if you feel you’re being under-paid this will do the work for you and determine how much professionals in your field are making.
- You just took on a new project that’s above your pay grade. If you’ve been going above and beyond by taking on extra work, exceeding your goals, staying late, or covering for your “sick” coworker it’s a good time to speak to your boss. Not only will this highlight your value to the organization, but you’ll also let them know you’re no fool and you want your money.
- The company is expanding. This means that not only will positions be opening up for promotions, but your company clearly has the budget to pay you more. If your company is opening a new branch or creating a new department, this is your chance to showcase your skill set.
- Everyone with your same title is ballin’. I’m not saying to compare yourself to others, but, if your accountant salary leads you to order malt liquor while your fellow accountants are sippin’ on Dom Perignon; it might be negotiation time.
Now that you’ve decided you need that paper, here’s how to successfully ask your boss for a raise:
Ask Around. Nothing compares to information from the source. Talk to people who have successfully been promoted within their companies. This is also a good time to reach out to a professional mentor. If you don’t have a mentor yet, don’t worry, there’s an app for that! The Grip app gives smartphone users an easy way to network. It’s like Tinder for networking.
Make a list. It’s important to keep track of what you’ve accomplished. After all, they need proof that you deserve to be making more! When my mom (who is a CFO for a non-profit in Los Angeles) asked for a raise at a previous job, she decided to ask after taking on an advanced project. She wrote down her accomplishments from the project and used that to back up her proposal for a raise.
Your accomplishments should be specific and measurable. For example, at my current position I publish our office’s first eNewsletter. If I was proposing a raise, I would say “I have contributed to the design and production of our office’s first online newsletter. In the first six months the newsletter was distributed to over 3,000 contacts monthly and maintained an open and click-through rate of 20% and 250% higher than our industry average.”
Write it down. Going in to sit down with your boss can be anxiety inducing. Therefore, plan out what you’re going to say and give yourself action items so you don’t sound rehearsed and stay on track. Try saying something like: “I’ve been with this company for X amount of time and have accomplished A, B, and C. Seeing that I have reached these benchmarks I would like to discuss a salary that reflects my accomplishments with this organization.”
Now go forth and get that money!