5 Steps to Take before Asking for a Raise

So you think it’s time. You proved you’re a great worker and everyone from the team loves you. You want that raise and you know you deserve it. However, you also know that the job market isn’t fair. Employers keep assigning new responsibilities without increasing payments.

Do you know why that happens? Because, for most positions, they can always find a replacement if they are not willing to pay more and the employee decides to quit. Before you ask for a raise, you have to make yourself an asset that’s hard to replace. We’ll show you how to get there. Make sure to follow these steps before you ask for a raise:

1. Get data on your personal performance

Reina Hutchins, HR Manager at Resumes Planet explains: “ Personal performance is how you show you’re valuable for that organization. What contributions did you make? What projects did you take part in? You need to find proof of those contributions. If you want to get more money from your employer, you need to show how you helped the organization make more money, so you’ll be justifying the raise.”

Your company has tools for measuring everyone’s impact. However, that doesn’t mean your boss is completely aware of your contributions. That’s why you’ll need to collect this information and present a solid case.

2. Get relevant industry data

How big is the pay competitive companies give to employees on the same position? Remember: you’re not looking for a promotion; you’re asking for a raise. You want the boss to give you higher pay for the same position, so you need to make a comparison.

If the industry data supports your case, you’ll have greater chances for getting what you want. Payscale is a nice source of information about average salaries. If you can’t find this information or you find it but it doesn’t go to your advantage, you’ll need very strong arguments for your performance.

3. Exceed some expectations

If you’re only meeting expectations, then you’re getting paid as much as you deserve. You agreed to do that job for that salary, so you don’t have a case to ask for a raise. If, however, you’re so good that you’re constantly surprising your employer with better performance than what you’re expected to deliver, you’re on the right track.

You can’t think of a way that proves you exceeded the expectations? Then, give yourself some time before you go ask for a raise. Work more, accept more responsibilities and give fresh ideas for your boss to consider. Demonstrate your potential for leadership and show how that company benefits from having you there.

4. Show your personality

Maybe you think that only professional performance is important for getting a raise. You’re wrong. The organizational culture is an important aspect you shouldn’t neglect. You’ll have better chance to get a raise if everyone there likes you. Don’t be a cold person that’s completely focused on the job, doesn’t talk to anyone during lunch and leaves the office without saying bye.

When people like you, you have a greater effect on them. They pay attention to your ideas and want to take your advice. That’s the person you want to be. Before you go ask for a raise, contribute to elevate the spirit in the office.

5. Build your case

Finally, you can’t step into that office without having a plan. Getting in there, setting a smile on your face and saying “Listen boss, I want a raise” is not enough. You need to build your case, based on all steps we described above.

  • Are you making great contributions for the company’s progress?

  • Are you underpaid regarding the industry’s standards?

  • Are you doing more than what you were hired for?

  • Are you valuable for the organization’s culture?

Make a list of all arguments you’re going to make. Your employer will hear you out and if they think your claims are based on realistic performance, they will consider your request.

Breathe! You can do this! If you’re well prepared, you won’t embarrass yourself. Even if you don’t get that raise, at least you’ll show you know your value and the employer will keep your request in mind.

Author's bio: Micheal Gilmore is a resume blogger and career advisor. Micheal has a passion for exploring the power of the human mind and shares his lessons on how we can perform better. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook.