We all go through the phase when we think we deserve better than our current remuneration. For some, that feeling is constant and proven. Whether it is a desire to have a higher salary or a wish that a bonus could have been higher, I can guarantee that you have felt that way at least once in your career. What did you do about it? Did you bring up the issue with your supervisor? Did you keep quiet beaten by fear?
In similar situations, many people end up simply looking for a better paying job, sometimes at the risk of leaving a company and culture that they enjoy partnering with. It is no secret that rejection is a fear so many people would rather not experience and they opt for the easy route. Our education system does not teach communication and dealing with others, how can we blame the ones who succumb to the fear or rejection? However, we cannot escape forever. We cannot avoid confrontation and the tough conversation indefinitely. Asking for a raise does not guarantee that you will get it. Still, when there is no other way to receive what you deserve, avoiding the confrontation only hurts you and you only.
In my career, I’ve seen individuals who are guilty of negligence when it comes to building relationships in their work environment. They always keep to themselves, never show any interest in their colleagues and never share about their lives. Then when the time comes to ask for a raise, they believe a simple email or a request should be sufficient. Are you that type of person? Before asking for a raise, I suggest making some effort to be at least liked by your coworkers. Among all the skills required to succeed in the work environment, the ability to relate to others and communicate with them always floats above the rest. This does not mean having a lovefest with your coworkers or being very close to everyone outside of the work environment. It simply means being a human, being interested in others, your supervisors included, and not always keeping to yourself. The times that you feel you should earn more, a sincere conversation with your managers will be easier to manage once you’re no longer a stranger to them.
So, the first tip on how to ask for a raise is to build professional relationships in your work environment.
The typical work day starts at 8 or 9 am and ends at 5 pm. What happens at 5 pm? Computers get shut off, work is paused and parking lots start emptying. There is nothing wrong with leaving the office at the time that your contract stipulates but my experiences have shown me that going the extra mile brings to those who practice it an equivalent ROI. Trust me, I do not advocate for unhealthy work habits. In fact, for millennials like myself, I recommend finding an entrepreneurial venture that you can sink your teeth into and work your guts out to build a financial asset outside of your 9 to 5. However, sometimes, work requires a little bit extra and staying a few more minutes indicates that you are dedicated. After all, isn’t that the kind of employee every organization wants?! Along those lines, be diligent with your work. The fashionably late mindset is not acceptable in the work environment, try your best to be on time. When you’re running late, be courteous and give your coworkers and supervisor a heads up. Continuously ask for feedback and implement it right away. Show that you want to improve and help the company, after all that’s why you were hired.
Second tip. GO THE EXTRA MILE and be diligent in your work.
If you haven’t done it, I recommend keeping a copy of your job description. If you’ve been in the same position for years and you’re not able to recover the job posting which you applied to, it is possible to construct a new job description based on your own experience. What do you do daily, monthly, yearly? The purpose of having such a document is to evaluate your load of tasks which you are responsible for and compare them to the initial requirements of the position. As a good employee and a hard worker, it is certain that you will take on projects that are not or were not part of your contracts. Keep track of them. Measure it. Not only is such a scoreboard necessary when you’re asking for an increase in your pay, it is also very useful when your quarterly or yearly performance review happens. Before you bring up the topic with your manager, it is also helpful to know what you’re worth and what your position is worth. Glassdoor.com and LinkedIn are great resources to determine what your average pay range is for your job commensurately with your experience, degree and even geographical location.
Third tip. You cannot claim an increase to your salary because you feel you deserve it. You must show why your performance deserves a better pay.
Step into any school today and you will witness kids complaining about the unfairness of life. Brothers fight over their shares because one got more than the other. It is deplorable when adults behave in that manner. When it comes to your pay, the truth is that we should get paid according to our performance. Even when two have the same title, salaries may differ. The worst move to make is to mention someone else’s salary when you’re negotiating yours. Unless you are victim of discrimination, focus on your performance and provide support to your request. Plus, if a colleague tells you how much they make in confidence, you shouldn’t bring it up to Human Resources or your supervisor.
Fourth tip. Unless you are victim of discrimination, comparing your salary to other coworkers’ while negotiating yours is unprofessional.
Should you bring up the conversation in person or in an email? Either option can be effective based on the situation. For some, writing an email may be conducive to a detailed expression of their thoughts. It allows an employee to take the time to think through and provide as much support as needed to their reasoning. On the other hand, others feel more comfortable in one on one and in-person settings. By the way, knowing your supervisors and familiarizing yourself with them would help you determine the best way to connect with them and get your message across. In the past, I have been the recipient of promotions and raises during the year. But typically, most companies will run their performance reviews semi-annually or annually. You should be prepared for those instances. This does not eliminate the fact that you may also speak with your supervisor anytime throughout the year, at the appropriate time.
The ball in now in your court. Keep in mind, your request for an increase to your salary may not be granted. Nonetheless, going armed with the right tools and an attractive attitude will raise your chances. Good luck!