Are You Getting Paid Enough? The 7 Cardinal Rules of Asking For a Pay Raise

If you’ve been thinking about asking for a pay raise for quite some time but haven’t found the courage to actually ask your boss about it, you’re not alone. In almost all industries, asking for a raise is always treated as a taboo – as if doing so will open the flood gates of corporate hell. Most employees are afraid to be put in the hot seat or worse, fired or transferred for even daring to ask.

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We hate to break this to you, but if you’re not going to do it, your boss is going to think that you’re satisfied with what you’re getting every month. It’s cool if you are, but if you’re not, we encourage you to try and do something about it. The only thing that’s worse than hearing a ‘No’ is not trying at all! The moment you gather the courage to go for it, keep these 5 cardinal rules in mind!

Sell, don’t beg.

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Begging is always a bad idea when it comes to negotiating a pay raise. Remember that you are not there to beg your boss to give you a raise just because you want him to – you are there to tell him that your skills and services are worth more than what they are paying you right now.

Before you march up to your boss and ask for a pay raise make sure to list down your accomplishments, the clients you’ve booked and new responsibilities you have taken on. Negotiations often go your way if you prove that you’ve got something to the table. Remember – sell, don’t beg.

Timing is everything

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Contrary to popular belief, anytime is not the best time to ask for a raise. You need to consider two things: your performance and your company’s current profit status. If you’ve continuously exceeded all expectations and taken on new responsibilities, then by all means, do it. But if you’ve been giving your boss and your co-workers a hard time because of your poor performance, then it might be a good idea to wait until you’re performing a little better.

Another thing to consider is your company’s performance – are you quickly expanding and taking on new employees? Have you been receiving a steady stream of new clients? Asking for a raise when your company is down in the dumps is insensitive and may cause your co-workers to look at you in a negative way. I mean, who asks for a raise when other people are getting laid off?

Be realistic about it.

You can’t just walk in and say, “I think you ought to give me a 20% raise.” There is a better chance your boss will approve your request if you prove that you are making less than those who are in the same position as you. In order to arrive at a realistic amount, research how much everybody else in your industry is making. There are a lot of helpful websites that you can go to such as Salary.com and Get Raised.

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Stay tuned for Cardinal Rules 4 to 7 in Part 2!

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