The only thing more intimidating than money is asking for money. Let’s be honest: asking for a raise is scary, no matter what industry you’re in. It’s the type of scary that makes us take a step back and pause. But in cases like this, not having these difficult money conversations is literally costing you thousands of hard earned dollars. And think of it this way: your boss should want you to succeed. You’re providing inherent value to the company and the only way to earn more money at work is to ask for it.
Asking for a raise ultimately comes down to three factors: strategy, timing, and confidence. Like riding a bike, being able to negotiate your pay is a skill that comes easier with time and practice. Here are some key ideas to keep in mind while asking for a raise:
As you spend more and more time in your position, you should have a fairly good grasp of what you’re doing for the company. What essential role do you play? What value do you provide for your team? Have you led any special projects or campaigns? What makes you special, as opposed to anyone else in the company? Being able to pinpoint what you provide and brought to the company (whether that’s clients or partnerships or sales) is key in negotiating. Lay out your worth and present them to your boss. Never ask for anything without proof.
As we enter a new era of workplace transparency and equal pay, the conversation around wage gaps is becoming a more and more prominent one. Here’s the simple gist: your employer cannot forbid you from asking how much everyone else is making. A good boss would never deceive you into taking a lower pay. Here is an example of someone who was able to negotiate themselves into better pay by asking the over/under question. Seriously, ask your co-workers about their salaries. It could pay off big time.
Experts recommend that you ask for a raise once a year, particularly if your company is in the habit of doing yearly reviews. It’s convenient timing and a great opportunity to present your value to the company. But know when your company re-evaluates finances and budgets. Is it bi-annually? Is it seasonally? This is a conversation to have with your HR department and it could help you in your strategy.
Lastly, be confident. Asking for a raise is terrifying, but it’s for a good cause: you. The very worst thing that can happen is they say no. But you’ll never know until you try. Asking for a raise just means you know your worth and being able to lay that out in financial terms is instrumental to being a good adult. Go get your bag and never be ashamed of asking for more.
Image by @jacvanek on Instagram.