Need a Pay Raise? 5 Steps You Should Take Before Asking

We all deserve a raise right? WRONG! We all most certainly do not deserve a raise. There are steps we can take to better our chances. I know you work extremely hard at your job; but have you ever measured your skills, job description, and productivity level against some of the top performers in your field? If you were the boss, could you honestly justify giving yourself a raise? Here are five steps you should take before asking for your next raise. I once got a $20 thousand dollar raise, and here is what I did: 1. Conduct Research 2. Make Some Comparisons 3. Weigh the Facts 4. Cut the Mustard 5. Make the Ask #1 Conduct Research I do not advise that you walk into your boss' office unarmed. Do you know everything about your field and industry, or do you just show up to your job to get a paycheck? Newsflash–NOBODY gets the big bucks without some reciprocity. A good place to start is professional associations. Do you know where to find information, network with the right people, and how to track the latest happenings in your field? If you do not know, that needs to change. Research! Research! Research! Get your hands on as much information as possible. Even the novice professional knows that "knowledge is power"; however, the expert has forgotten more than most will ever know. #2 Make Some Comparisons How do you compare to others with your same job title? Please note, the only people who do not value education, certifications, and accolades are the ones who do not have any! Additionally, the only people who should make those statements are the ones who have been successful without them. Be honest with yourself. Compared to colleagues, how do you measure up? Position yourself so that you cannot be denied. Athletes train at their optimum physical and mental ability. You need to do the same for your career. It is important to be the absolute best you can be. Striving for your best is most important! #3 Weigh the Facts Ask many questions. How feasible is a raise for you right now? Consider geography. Factor in the cost of living. How much do other employees of comparable rank and experience make? What is their education level? What certifications and special training do they have? If your employer were to advertise your job, what would the add say, and would your qualifications meet or exceed the expectations? Evaluate the organization's financial health. Finances may not be your area of concern; however, timing also factors into whether you will receive a yes or a no. It behooves you to be astute about the facts that affect your future. #4 Cut the Mustard Before you barge into your boss' office and pop the question, make sure you have had a recent win. Try saving the company some money. Get to work on time. Start getting along with your co-workers. Turn in your reports on time. Go get some professional development training. Stop putting the office supplies in your bag. Complete a new education certificate. Find out what is important for performance measurement in your company, and make sure you are exceeding those qualifications. Position yourself to deserve "consideration" for a raise. #5 Make the Ask Okay now--you have made your preparations. Timing is everything! Do not approach your boss when times are most challenging or when the company has taken a major financial blow. Be respectful. Avoid ultimatums because everyone loses in that scenario. Always make your decisions based on what is right for you. That said, be prepared for a no. Also, be prepared for action. Either scenario, you have two choices. If you get a no and decide to stay, do not become a cancer. Maintain integrity as you perform your job functions. If you get a no, and decide to go, keep a good attitude until you find another position. Use this information as you negotiate for your new job. It is always easier to negotiate up front. Remember, there are no guarantees, and you have to continue working to improve your career and your future. That is your responsibility. When I got a $20 thousand dollar raise, I did everything I just shared with you here. At the time, I was making about half the salary many people in my field were making. I did not get the entire amount I originally requested, but what I did get was a lot better than what I had in the first place. Go for it! It never hurts to ask. I wish you "A Polite Situation"! Kimberly welcomes your feedback and questions! Please post your communication at Kimberly is also available to speak or train at your organization.

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