Most people want to make more money but most people are also afraid to ask for more money. I’m not saying you should rush into your boss’s office this second. You’ll need to do some homework first. There are a number of questions you need to answer.
Am I underpaid?
Some people truly are underpaid. Employers are not always good at keeping up with salary trends so you’ll need to do some homework. I love Salary.com for this. Make sure you look up your job title and location. If you are a help desk person in Kansas, don’t pull up salaries for a help desk person in California. Look in your local area. See what the average salary is. Are you there? If you are way above the average salary, make sure the job description is accurate. There are typically multiple levels for each job title. Once you have the right one, and you think you are not getting your fair wage, bring that with you to the meeting with your boss.
Are my accomplishments recognized?
Are you generating revenue or cutting costs for the company? Have you implemented efficiencies? Keep a list of your accomplishments and bring that list with you.
If I were in the boss’s chair, would I give me a raise?
Put yourself in the other chair. Would objective you give you a raise? Why? Make sure you have those reasons ready. The fact that you come to work everyday is probably not a good enough reason. Go back to your accomplishments.
Asking for a raise
When asking for more money, be gracious. Do not demand more money. If you are below average in salary, ask what you would need to do to get to that salary level. Sometimes, employers don’t know you are underpaid. I’ve known folks to just go in with that question and get a raise after the company confirms your data.
If your salary is inline with your position, ask what you would need to do to advance in the company. Maybe there are openings within the company. Ask if there are ways to develop the skill sets needed for those positions. Show that you are willing to learn and grow.
No matter what happens, be grateful for the opportunity. Thank the person for meeting with you and be genuine. You may not get an instant raise, but you have opened the door to possibilities. Most people in an organization want to help others succeed. Find a good leader and learn from him/her. If you work for a good organization, be a shining star. You will get noticed. If you don’t work for a good organization, it may be time to move on.
What are some tips that have worked for you in the past?
Some books I love on the subject of employment and finding the career of your dreams: