How to Negotiate a Raise

Over the last few years, I have had several clients ask this very question.  Although the task of asking for a raise may seem very complex, it actually is quite simpler than one might think.

First, lets review some of the wrong reasons to ask for a raise.  The first mistake made is requesting a raise because of new financial responsibilities (debt) within ones personal life, i.e., mortgage or car payment, child, or credit card debt.  Employers are concerned about their employees, however, dishing out raises to every person over their head in debt would be a constant burden.  Another wrong reason to ask for a raise, is due to difficulty getting along with coworkers and authoritative figures. Personal conflict does not constitute an increase in pay.

There are possibly only three main scenarios to ask for a raise:  added responsibilities, promotion, and outstanding performance.

  • A raise can be a reachable goal if the company has experienced a growth spurt requiring added duties or to cover projects outside of the positions original scope of work.
  • Unfortunately, a promotion does not always insinuate a raise.  Some companies promote employees without supplying a raise to ensure that person can handle the position prior to reaping the rewards of it.  This ensures some peace amongst both parties if the added duties and title are taken away.  I am sure I speak for a lot of people when I say, “we accept money quicker, than we give it away.”
  • In my experience, outperforming the employers expectations is the most concrete way to land a raise.

Make a list and check it twice!  This list should include: meeting date/time (annual review), detailed list of added responsibilities or the reason(s) for the request.  Also, take this opportunity to include key accomplishments, higher education, and qualifications which have added to your value while employed.

Although, asking for a raise may seem reasonable and achievable, the answer may not be in ones favor.  Some businesses cannot afford the added expense, therefore, be prepared to discuss an alternate plan.  Simply, mention you are disappointed and would like to discuss the subject again in three or six months.  A big mistake often made is threatening to find another job or quitting….this route will only burn a bridge.

Before you enter the room, take a deep breath.  Preparation is the key to success.

Good luck!

Career, employer, employment, job, Salary