If you want a raise in your salary, you are still new in your career, and you find it difficult to bring up the topic with your boss, then you need to spend some time preparing for the discussion, defining your strategy and respecting the timing for the conversation.
Below are some tips.
Step #1: Preparation
- Understand the performance evaluation process. If you are still not familiar with it, you can ask your manager or HR personnel to clarify it to you.
- Identify how pay raises are established and when they can be given. For instance, are pay raises linked to performance? Are they given soon after the annual performance assessment process or at any time of the year? Who is the entity that must approve the pay promotion request? What are the criteria for a pay raise request?
- Provide yourself with external salary information. You can conduct researches to know more about average salaries and salary ranges for similar jobs to yours. You can use many websites that offer salary information, like: salary.com, payscale.com, indeed.com, careeronestop.org, glassdoor.com, and jobsearchintelligence.com.
- Know where your pay stands within the company’s pay scales. You can ask your HR representative to explain it to you as well as what should you do to get higher pay levels.
- Learn how your manager perceives your work. Does your boss consider you as an under-performer, average-performer or high-performer? How does he compare your performance to others’ within the same department? How does he evaluate your strengths and weaknesses?
Step 2: Strategy
- Make a list of your achievements. You can mention the accomplishments you did that you consider are more than the normal part of the job. You can also specify your added- value to the company. In addition, do not forget to write down quantifiable examples to validate your high performance level and contributions.
- Plan your career development. Try to set your career objectives and milestones. List the steps you will need to take to get you there and the additional experience, education or training you will need.
- Evaluate your pay as opposed to your research. How do you evaluate your salary according to the external and internal salary information you obtained via research? Do you see your salary below, at or above that of people in similar positions within your company and outside of it?
- Be ready for justifications. Prepare yourself to explain, in an unemotional way, why you consider your work effort should be remunerated with more money. Find ways to quantify your performance and to prove that your work contributions justify receiving more compensation.
- Prepare your counter-request if the answer is “No.” Be prepared to provide your manager with other alternatives if he or she is unable to give you a raise, which could be a one-time bonus or a tuition reimbursement for an advanced college degree. Do not forget to ask your boss what you need to do that you are not already doing to grow within the company.
Step 3: Timing
- Determine the best time of year to meet with your boss to ask for an increase. Most companies give pay raises during the annual performance evaluation process. This indicates that having pay augmentations at other times of the year is to be considered as exceptional.
- Make sure the company is doing fine. It is very awkward to ask for a raise when your company is reducing costs, putting all hiring on hold and eliminating jobs via downsizing and layoffs. Better for you to choose the right time when the company is financially well.
- Choose the right date and timing. Do not pick days that are usually busy for managers, such as Mondays. Choose a day that is less stressful, such as Fridays. It is also better for you to schedule the meeting in advance so you your boss is not booked in back-to-back meetings.
- Come prepared. Bring everything you believe is a justification for your pay raise request. This consists of internal and external salary research, list of achievements, career development plan, justification document and anything else you will need.
If you are requesting a pay raise, you have to prepare sit very well, set a solid strategy and choose the right timing. Be rational, be reasonable and be unemotional.