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Tips on how to ask for a raise

Date posted:  4/20/16 09:00:00 AM

When you put time and effort into your job, being appreciated and rewarded can help you see your hard work pays off. However, it isn't always that easy. Sometimes you need to present your case and request a raise or bonus by demonstrating the time and effort you have dedicated to your position.  

Forbes noted you should not remain silent if you are not satisfied with your current salary — especially if you put in a committed effort at work that makes you one of the most valuable employees at your company.

"Clearly most companies today are not looking for opportunities to hand out money," noted Lynn Taylor, a national workplace expert, according to Forbes. "During the boom era of the late '90s when talent was scarce and retention was top of mind, nearly the opposite was true. While the corporate landscape is different now, you shouldn't sit idly and feel dissatisfied in silence. If you have supportive evidence your salary is at sub-market levels, you should speak up."

While requesting a bump in salary can be difficult and intimidating, it's important that you recognize your value to a team. Follow these tips when requesting a raise:

Think from your boss's perspective 
According to the Harvard Business Review, you'll want to think about what your manager or boss wants to see in his or her employees and what qualities are most essential to the team.

"You have to think about why your boss should even consider granting your request," said Kathleen McGinn, professor of business administration at Harvard Business School.

Once you align your case with the goals your boss deems most important, you can better craft your pitch and increase your chances of landing a raise.

Back up your claims 
If you tell your boss you deserve a raise, it's critical that you can provide evidence of your success. Diana Faison, a partner with a leadership development firm, indicated that there is a method to asking for a raise and part of that method is plenty of preparation.

"If you don't prepare, you don't know what you're really asking for," said Faison

Have at least two different types of evidence which demonstrate why you are an ideal candidate for a raise. Consider what you have done to improve the business and what your worth is in the current marketplace. Enter the raise negotiation discussion with average salaries for your positions and a target amount by visiting websites that provide range information based on location and title.

Determine your value 
Forbes indicated that knowing what you are worth before requesting a raise is critical. 

"Look at salary surveys, cost-of-living comparisons, and rates of compensation within your organization, if possible," said Dr. Katharine Brooks, the executive director of the office of personal and career development at Wake Forrest University, according to Forbes. "If you are aware that colleagues are earning more than you, tread carefully. You don't want to put others in a negative light or violate a corporate written or unwritten rule about knowing what others earn. Simply present what the field generally pays, and why you believe your performance is at the top of your field." 

Practice makes perfect 
The Harvard Business Review insisted that practicing your pitch aloud and with friends or family members is a great way to perfect delivery. It may be helpful to record yourself or practice in front of a mirror to ensure you are as prepared as possible. 

By practicing your pitch multiple times, you can feel more confident when you make your case and present it to your boss. Rehearsing also will help reduce the likelihood of stumbling, rushing through or missing important points.

"You've got to be calm, and conversational, and to establish an air of collaboration," said Faison, according to the Harvard Business Review.

Keep moving forward 
When speaking with your boss or manager, do not rely solely on your past achievements. You should also explain how you will continue to perpetuate success in your position with the company and that you are committed to growing the business. 

"You've got to understand what is it they value, what it is it that's important to them, how are you making their lives better as well as the company's," added Faison.

Go for it 
If you believe the time and energy you dedicate to an operation deserves more money, don't be hesitant to ask. Salary.com indicated while it might be stressful and sometimes awkward, without asking, you'll never know if you could have made a higher salary. 

Keep in mind that unless you throw co-workers under the bus or approach your boss in an unprofessional manner, the worst thing that can happen is having your request denied. The Harvard Business Review suggesting having additional benefits in mind that you would be willing to accept in place of a salary increase. Consider accepting employee stock options or flexible work hours. 

If your boss still says no, find out ways you can improve your performance. 

"Ask what tasks you can take on, what changes you can make in your job that would lead to that raise," said Kathleen McGinn, a professor of business at Harvard Business School.

Getting a raise is a wonderful feeling, but sometimes it's up to you to bring it up and present your case.