Lady wearing a yellow jacket and red hair crossing a bridge with less money on the left to more money to the right

How To Ask for a raise. And Get It!

Asking for a raise can be incredibly intimidating for most people. When it comes to money matters, people tend to retreat from the uncomfortable discussions and put off the discussion for as long as possible. This ends up being detrimental to their income and career trajectory as the employees land up becoming unsatisfied in their positions as they believe that they should be earning more. 

So, if you are one of those people who get really uncomfortable with the money discussion, just know that you are not alone. In fact, there are various ways that one can go about asking for a raise from employers, and guarantee that the request will be met. We took a look at what steps you should take to get that raise. 

Do Your Research 

The first thing you need to ascertain is what the average salary is for equal peers in your field. You will need to be realistic about your expectations when going into the discussion, so having as much data as possible will certainly help your cause. You will need to take various things in consideration:

  • Your education; 
  • Your length of service; 
  • Your skills and expertise; 
  • Your achievements in your role.

With this in hand, you can start by doing some internet research on what the average salary is for someone in your position. Look up job listings for your role to pinpoint what salaries are being offered by the companies. If you can, contact the companies or recruiters to find out more about their packages. The best contacts to have will be recruitment agencies, who will be able to give you a deeper insight into salary ranges. 

Set Up a Preliminary Meeting with Your Superior

In order to secure a raise, you will need to start working on the process a few months in advance. Make sure, however, that you are not asking for a raise after only a few months of service. Annual increases are more realistic, so, around three to four months before the year, schedule a meeting with your manager to discuss your progress, their expectations and  your goals for the next few months. 

It is advisable to inform your employers of your intentions a few months before your actual request in order to be on the same page about the raise, but also to know your standing with the company. Here, you can find out if the company is happy with your performance, understand where your strengths and weaknesses lie and find out what more you can be doing to excel at your role, and make sure that raise is a reality. 

Set Your Goal to Impress

The next few months are your time to shine. You have the feedback from your employers in hand. They have informed you where you are falling behind, where you are excelling and where you can grow. Now is the time to really use that feedback and work on growing yourself into the superstar that you are. Take on more responsibilities than you have in the role to prove that you are passionate and serious about achieving your goals, contributing to the growth of the company and that, frankly, you deserve more money. 

Here is your chance to start thinking like you would if you had to get a promotion. Take an interest in solving problems that future you would solve and start learning more about how higher roles work. A word of warning though, don’t start acting too far out of your pay grade. Firstly, you will be stepping on toes and can create a lot of animosity in the company. Secondly, you could start losing focus on your actual work and start falling behind, leaving you further back than where you want to be. Lastly, taking on too much responsibility could counteract your request for a raise and promotion as you are doing the job already.

Communicate Your Achievements Effectively

Asking for a raise is most effective when you are providing your employers data that demonstrates why you deserve the raise. Do not go into the discussion or negotiation with the mind-set of, “This is why I need this raise”, rather, set out why you deserve the raise. Realistically, most employers are not overly concerned that your bills have increase by 5% over the last year. They want to know why they should be spending more money on you. What is your ROI? Think like a business at this point, and remember that you are selling your skills and experience. 

Make sure that before the meeting, you have thoroughly tracked what you have achieved over the last year. Where have you outdone yourself? Where have you met and exceeded targets? What were the added responsibilities that you took on and how did you manage with them? Have you taken personal time to upskill yourself in some form and what have you done to teach yourself more about your potential tasks. It is all in the facts and figures, and without that, you could find yourself with a rejection to your raise request. 

Practice, Practice, Practice

It is going to be intimidating asking for, and negotiating a raise. You will have to be prepared for a no or even the employer low-balling you. It comes with the territory. You will need to make sure that you look and act the part. Practice the way you present yourself and how you present your data and information. It is important to communicate each one of your wins in a straightforward and simple way. 

Discuss your goals and the future in the company. Touch on how you would like to contribute to the continued growth of the company. By practicing what you would like to say to someone else, you will be able to go into the meeting with a lot more confidence and knowing how you will structure the discussion, with exactly what you are going to cover and what you will be saying. 

Last Thoughts

Asking for a raise is not always necessary in this digital age. You can passively look for a new job that will pay your desired salary while working your current role on Wanted. By filling in your skills, expertise and expected salary, you can carry on working until the right company finds you who will be willing to pay for what you are worth. This reduces the salary negotiations going into the role and will remain transparent going forward.