How to Ask for a Raise When It’s Clear You Won’t Get One Otherwise

You’ve been a kick-ass employee. You’ve taken on more projects at work, contributed good ideas in meetings, and even managed to squeeze in training to demonstrate how valuable you are to your organization. Yet come review time your boss tells you how all your efforts are appreciated, but there’s no money in the budget to give you a raise.

If you’ve heard this often over the last few years – there are a few things you can do to make your case for a raise this year.

raise at work

Do Your Research

Do you know how much professionals in your field are being paid these days? Odds are, you are getting paid less thanks to the recession and companies trying to save money by paying their staff less. Sites like Salary and Glassdoor can help you make sense of numbers and highlight what professionals with your level of experience and education are being paid in the city where you live. These sites can also be helpful because you’ll have a good idea of how much money to ask for. Be prepared to take this research with you when you ask for a raise because, as always, knowledge is power!

Raise at work

Be Prepared to Sing Your Praises

We’re often told to be modest, but now is not the time for that! Come prepared to list all of your accomplishments over the last year. More than that, be able to show ways you’ve saved the company time or money. This should be your biggest selling point. An employee who saves money or time for their organization is ultimately the most valuable. Be sure to also list any training, special recognition, examples of your leadership or contribution to a project, and mention your plans for the future.

Create Leverage

Have you been job hunting and managed to secure a job offer? Great! You can use that as a bargaining chip when discussing your request for a raise. You can note that another company is willing to pay you what you feel you’re worth. Be careful not to insinuate that you intend to leave, if your current employer doesn’t meet you demands, unless you’re truly willing to follow through with that threat.

Raise at work

Practice Your Delivery

It’s easy to get emotional about this sort of thing. After all, you’ve seen countless promotion and raises handed out over the years with no of the money flowing your way. Try not to hold on to that when you speak to the boss. Practice making your message about your value to the company and why you deserve the raise – not why you need it. Stay calm and be prepared to hear no.

Try these easy steps and you’ll be on your way to a raise in no time. It may not happen the first time, but if you arm yourself with research and a know you’re worth – it’s sure to pay off sooner rather than later.

Good luck!

Photos by Memorandum, Huffingpost, and LadyiPad
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