Requesting a salary raise isn’t often an easy conversation. First, you have to pluck up the courage to do it, and then hope you catch your boss on a good day.
If they’re feeling receptive, you then have to make sure you’re deserving - and have the proof to back it up.
Here’s how to ask for a raise without screwing up your chances.
Make sure you deserve it
First things first: only ask for a salary review if you truly think you’re deserving.
If you've recently made a costly mistake or been disciplined, it's likely not the time to be asking for a raise. Instead, make sure you're tactful in when you ask for a salary increase.
Ensure your recent work at the company has been good, and driven positive results in line with what's expected of you. If you've gone above and beyond in your role, use this to your advantage as leverage by showing how much of an asset you've been.
But if you’re struggling to hit objectives or feel you could have performed a little better, perhaps wait a while until you’re more befitting of a healthier paycheck.
Show your proof
Your company won’t necessarily give you a raise just because you asked - they’ll probably want to see the reasons why you think you’re deserving.
Take examples and case studies of your work to the meeting. It's much easier to show your worth if you can demonstrate that you've had a positive impact - especially if it's a monetary one. Show how something you've done within your remit has helped the company, for example by bringing in more income, landing a new client or increasing sales.
If you’ve helped out other teams, perhaps by covering for absent or over-resourced colleagues, that’s another thing in your favor that you can raise as part of your request.
Just be sure not to go in with no idea of how to prove your worth and achievements, or you’ll leave empty handed.
Be tactical and tactful
There’s no point hammering on your boss’s door and simply demanding a raise. That’s a surefire way to annoy them - and probably rule yourself out of a pay increase. Make sure you’ve scheduled the meeting in advance, and that your boss knows the purpose of it; they need preparation time too!
You also need to be be tactical about your timing and approach. Don't go in and ask if the company has recently suffered financial losses or is struggling. If there have been redundancies, also tread carefully; you may get short shrift.
Do your homework
Of course, one way to gain even more leverage in such a meeting is to have an insight into what you’re worth elsewhere. Browse the market for jobs and make a note of salaries that compare (or not, as the case may be) to yours.
If you don’t get the response you want, remain professional and continue to work hard - there’ll always be another opportunity. And if you want a more immediate raise, perhaps it’s time to look elsewhere. If you could benefit by moving to a new company, get in touch with us to find out how we can help your job search and negotiate a great salary for you.