Know Your Worth: When to Ask for a Raise and How to Get It

Amber Clark

Dec 19, 2016

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Know Your Worth: When to Ask for a Raise and How to Get It

At a 2014 conference, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella made a baffling statement about women asking for raises. According to him, requesting a raise is not that hard. What truly makes a difference is having confidence that the system will give you the raise as you go along. As Forbes analyzes in this article, the message is that women should just work and have confidence that someday they will be paid what they deserve.

Do you agree?

Of course you don’t. So when is the right moment to ask for a raise is and what should you do to get it?

The Right Timing

Depending on the industry you work in, you should know by now how often an employee is granted a raise (finance and tech companies are more raise-friendly due to their highly competitive market). Salary increases are discussed once a year during the annual evaluation, but the recommendation is not to wait that long and to start a few months in advance, before next year’s budget is decided. If you are an all-star performer and can argue effectively that you deserve the raise, the timing is good.

The first step would be to have an honest conversation with your manager and just ask how you could tackle the subject of your salary. The way you bring up the subject to your manager depends a lot on his personality and work schedule, but you probably already know how he can best be approached.

Stand Up for Yourself

As a Huffington Post article underlines, one of the biggest problems women usually have is a lack of self-confidence and not knowing what they are really worth. If you aren’t confident enough, if you don’t know how to appreciate the work you do, nobody will do it for you (especially not the CEO, who is too busy managing the company). If you are looking for a raise and want to prepare yourself before ending up at the negotiation table, make sure you run through this helpful list:

  • What education, work experience and values did you bring with you to the company?
  • What are your current tasks and how well do you perform them through the year?
  • What added value do you bring to the company compared to others?
  • Why do you think you deserve the raise?

Yes, it’s difficult, but being honest with yourself and thinking about all these aspects  can only put you in a powerful position when asking for a raise. Put them on your agenda and reflect upon them when you have a spare moment. Write down all your accomplishments, projects you completed and other straightforward facts so you can have all this info at the negotiation table. When you have all your answers, prepare your speech. Make it as candid as possible.

Do Your Homework

Before asking for a raise, do a little research into your company’s profile and find out how much they usually grant. Usually companies budget 5% or less, so if you go and ask for a 10% raise or more, that will most probably seem inappropriate and unrealistic. Let your manager name the sum. It might be more than you expected. If the sum is lower than you expected, you could tell your boss what you were actually hoping for and suggest meeting in the middle.

Some people are skilled negotiators. For everyone else, it is a difficult art to master. Make sure to follow these tips to get the raise you deserve.

Good luck!

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