How to Get a Raise from Your Employer
How to Get the Money You Deserve
I am 40-something years old and have worked many different jobs in my lifetime (26 years of work experience), particularly, before I went to college and pursued my degrees with a vengeance, as if time was running out for me (I was only 33 years old when I went to college). I started working at 14 years old with my grandmother in a ladies’ dress shop in Spanish Harlem; and, from there, I tried bookkeeping, reception work, waitressing, retail, and banking. I then launched into a near-decade long career in college admissions and determined there was only so far I could go without my “sheepskin” on the wall. So, I went to law school and started my legal career.
With all of my employment experience, I realized, early on, that there is a top number employers are willing to pay for a certain position; and, once you maximize that amount, it is time to get another position, promotion, more education, or another employer. So consider these factors when asking for a raise. Most importantly, realize that you have great authority over what you can make. You do not have to settle for "peanuts." Although it might seem unbelievable, I have never been denied a raise when I requested one. Here are my top 10 ways for getting the raise you think you deserve.
Ten Ways to Get That Raise
1. Get over the fear of asking. The worst thing the employer can say is “no”; and then you are in no worse position than you were before you asked. Think about all the positive qualities you have as a person. It will pump you up and give you the confidence you need to ask for the raise. You cannot go in your supervisor’s office like a mouse begging for a piece of cheese.
2. Get realistic. Take a look at your job description and be honest with yourself on whether or not you are meeting the requirements, goals, etc. You get paid for the job you do. You get the raises for going beyond expectations.
3. Make a list of why you deserve the raise. Consider all the ways you have exceeded the requirements of the job, bring value to the company, and stand out from other employees in the same position or salary range. If you stay later than others because you want to accomplish more or get ahead of a deadline, that’s a positive thing. List all the things you do outside your job description to help others or the company. If you brought things to “the executive table” to improve conditions and job performance, put it on your list. The amount of time you have dedicated to the company is also relevant.
4. Make a list of all the positive things about your company. This is a great way to start the conversation. “I want to let you know why I like working here…”
5. What is the salary range for your position? Check with the company’s human resources representative and find out what the salary range is for your position and the range for your supervisor. It will be an impossible task to ask for a range that falls into that of your supervisor. He or she may not be making that much more than you are.
6. Consider a promotion to get the higher salary you want. Check with the company’s human resources representative for any openings within the company that pay more than what you are earning now; and determine whether you meet the qualifications for those positions. Because, if you are turned down for a raise, you can alternatively ask your supervisor to recommend you for a higher position if you are qualified.
7. Educate yourself. On your own, take a class here or there (or start a certification or degree program) that relates to your industry or specific job. It’s another plus for you to discuss with your supervisor in asking for the raise or promotion. You will be viewed as a more valuable employee.
8. Compare to negotiate. Look at other companies where your skills are applicable and valued and compare salaries for the industry. See if they have openings, and put in an application (just in case). This is the way you can give yourself a raise. If you get an offer, you can always use this as a negotiating tool. Tell your supervisor that you prefer to stay with him or her or the company and give the reasons why you prefer not to switch employers to get the money you deserve
9. Make the time. Schedule an appointment with your supervisor so that you can get the time you need to present your case and negotiate a raise. You are more likely to get the raise if your supervisor has set aside an allotted time to discuss it with you. To get the appointment, find when your supervisor has a free moment and ask permission to schedule an appointment for you to discuss your position and value to the company. Once in a while, you’ll get the response “I can talk with you now.” So be prepared just in case. Don’t walk into his or her office out of the blue and interrupt his or her project, phone call, work, or meeting. This might seem obvious, but I can’t tell you how many coworkers I knew that did one of those things and then got shot down for the raise
10. Talk about what the company needs not about what you need. It will fall on deaf ears if you start with “I need more money for: rent, my kid’s college, new car, I’m having trouble making it, etc.” It’s all about the company: “here’s what I have done to improve this company; I’m an asset to this company because…; I have some (great, important, progressive) ideas I’d like to share to improve (production, customer service, increase revenue) for this company.”
Stay confident and true to your ideals and work ethic. If this company or job is not right for you, admit that to yourself; and do what you need to do to move forward economically. You might just have to give yourself the raise you want.
Thanks to Tiger Mom for inspiring me to write this Hub.
Special Thanks to the HubPages Community!
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By Liza Lugo, J.D.
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