Asking for a Raise?


money lots ofAccording to the website PayScale, 75% of the people who ask for a raise, receive the raise. That is a pretty significant number. However, it doesn’t take into consideration the number of people that WANT to ask for a raise and don’t.

The success rate for those people is consistently zero. If you don’t ask, the answer will always be no.

So if you have done the research and determined that it is time to ask for a raise; perhaps this is your lucky day.

Timing is critical. If the company just suffered a financial loss or the stock market just crashed; you might want to hold off on the discussion. However, if the company is doing well if you just participated in a project that contributed to an increase in sales or if the industry is doing strong; it might be a good time to speak with your boss.

PayScale has an interesting article on assessing the timing of the negotiation discussion. In the article it is recommended that you time your request a few months prior to the annual review process:

If your company has a regular performance review schedule, try to have a conversation about your compensation a couple months in advance so that your boss has time to make a case and advocate for budget ahead of that process. If you wait until the performance review process is underway, often the decisions about salary increases have already been made by the management team. It doesn’t mean that an exception won’t be made, but the easier you make it for your manager, the smoother the whole negotiation process will go.

Once you have selected the best time, do a little research, planning, and role play prior to the actual discussion with your boss.

Creative Sourcing, a top recruitment firm in Chicago offers great advice on preparing and planning for the discussion with your boss. 6 Essential Tips When Asking for a Raise. Here is an abbreviated sample of three of the tips:

Prepare your Talking Points

Be prepared. Are you asking for a raise because you just think it’s time or there other reasons behind your request? For example, have you

  • Outperformed others in your department as well as your own past performance bringing in unexpected revenue.
  • Discovered ways for your department to streamline activities thereby saving the company time, money, effort, etc.
  • Worked on a special project which required additional hours and yet have continued to exceed expectations in your regular assignments.
  • Taken a leadership role with some of the new hires, mentoring and encouraging them to be successful.

Leave your Emotion at Home

Remember that this is a business discussion. Whining, complaining, or threatening is tactics that won’t work. State your case, outline your research and state your value. Give your boss the opportunity to ask to follow up questions, which leads to the next tip.

Use the Silence

Once you have made your case, give your boss some time to ponder and digest your request. Let the silence be. Resist the urge to jump in and put words in your boss’ mouth. Your boss may even ask for some time to think about what you have said and get back to you. That’s okay, they may need time to talk with their human resource department or assess their current budget. Give them the opportunity.

Silence really is key. In a recent article here we discussed the power of silence as a key negotiation tool. 

Take the time to research and prepare. Check out the Negotiation Guide from PayScale which offers a ton of great articles to help you be successful.

Good luck!

IMG_5268cJJ DiGeronimo, keynote speaker for women, based in Cleveland, presents keynote addresses on women in leadership, diversity in business and advancement for women.

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JJ DiGeronimo

JJ DiGeronimo

Speaker, Author & Thought Leader for Women in Tech & Girls in STEM.

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