why don't you

Why Don't You Ask for a Raise?

Who doesn't love the idea of more money? Hey, it's not about being greedy; it's about making the money that you deserve based on skill, creativity, and contribution. And honestly, if you don't feel like you're being fairly rewarded at work, it can start to sour all the other great stuff about your job.

If you're thinking that it's time to talk to your boss about bumping you up a pay grade, prepping for the meeting could make the difference between celebrating with steak or drowning your sorrows in a tub of cookie dough ice cream: Your choice.

Step One: Know Your Worth

You can't storm into your boss' office and demand a million dollars if you're not, you know, worth a million dollars. Instead, start the process by doing some research. There are great websites, like Salary.com and Payscale.com, that can offer better insight into what people are getting paid for jobs similar to your own.

Here's the thing, though: If you find that you're somewhere in the middle or lower when compared to industry standards, you'll need to prove that you're more than just average as far as dependability, creativity, and responsibility.

Step Two: Compile Your Accomplishments

You'll need to prove your worth to your manager, so take the time to compile a portfolio of some of the positive stuff you've accomplished while in your current position. Maybe you helped give the company website a facelift, or you came up with a genius workflow plan to keep everyone organized. Or maybe your boss has been constantly giving you the responsibility of training new employees (something you weren't orginially hired to do). Even work on big projects can be helpful, so come up with ways that you've made your manager's life easier.

Step Three: Plan the Meeting

Here's where straight-up strategy comes into play. Use what you know about your manager to come up with a plan of action. Is she the type of person who prefers private conversation? Does she totally hate surprises? Do you find that she's easier to talk to during a quiet afternoon or during a busy morning?

Plan your meeting carefully. If your boss hates surprises, you can give her a head's up: "Hey, could we schedule a meeting to talk about my future here?"

By setting up a meeting specifically to talk about a raise, you show your boss that you're serious.

Step Four: Use the Right Language

Telling your manager that you want more money can leave a bad taste in her mouth, so choose your words carefully. Use a non-accusatory tone and present what you've learned about industry standard pay, while contrasting those findings to your actual impact with the company.

Always stay calm and use "I" language whenever possible, such as "I feel that my work here merits a performance review and perhaps a raise." Then, take the time to talk your manager through your positive impact.

You don't need to be braggy about it: Just be ready with a list of ways that your work has benefited the company while acknowledging the fact that it was the company that gave you those opportunities in the first place.

Always paint your picture as a win-win scenario: By giving you a raise, your boss can expect a more motivated worker who is happy to stick around and continue positively contributing to the team.

Finally, end the conversation with an agreement statement. Instead of "Can I have a raise?" (to which a boss could simply answer "no) try "Wouldn't you agree that a higher level of work deserves a higher rate of pay?" It's harder for your boss to disagree with a diplomatic statement, and might increase your chances of getting a "yes."

Step Five: Make the Best of "No"

Even if your boss totally turns you down, don't be completely discouraged. Instead, prove that you're worthy of a second look by asking "Is there something I can do to become a more valuable employee?" or, "Would you consider a promotion or new title?" instead. Your boss will be impressed that you've made a negative experience into a positive one by proving that you want to continue working to earn her trust and approval.

Or, ask for another review at a later date. If your boss can't offer a raise now, she might be in a better position in six months. Schedule a performance review, where you can talk about the idea of a higher salary in the future (and gently prove that you're not backing down).

Sure, asking for a raise can be kind of a nail-biter as far as work life goes. But remember: The worst your boss can do is say "no." But then, at least you know your potential, the industry standard, and what your next step should be going forward.

By Jae — Travel Blogger

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