Dear Karen,

I have been with my company for awhile but haven’t received a raise. How do I prepare and put myself in the best position to ask, and what are the risks and implications of doing so (if any)?

Make It Rain Randy

 

Dear Make It Rain Randy:

Ideally, during the interview and hiring process, the employee and employer should clearly outline the process for reviews, raises, and bonuses, if applicable. By discussing it proactively, each party will feel in the know and have managed their expectations accordingly.

Similarly, If an employee accepts a job offer and met the employer in the middle during the negotiation process, they may discuss how they would hope to come to that figure upon review. They should ask their employer how such success would be measured in order to meet that goal financially.

However, if these guidelines are not followed by both parties, then it is important to follow these tips:

  1. Be smart. Make sure you have been employed and/or enough time has passed since your hire date or last raise.
  2. Do your research. Utilize sites such as Indeed.com and Glassdoor to determine what others are earning (based on position, experience, and geographic area).
  3. Know your worth. Assess your work performance, and if able, ask a trusted colleague for their feedback.
  4. Be prepared. If you’re asking for an increase in salary, you will need to see the above point and be prepared to outline different ways in which you have made a difference in your position, and to the company’s bottom line as a result.
  5. Request a meeting. Have a sit down with your manager to discuss your performance, and clearly define your request and why you feel you are eligible. Though you want to be detailed in explaining how and why you deserve a raise, you want to have factual information that is not too wordy. Keep their attention focused on the facts, and you will have a stronger argument.

The risks and implications of asking for a raise should be small if you are a strong employee who performs. If you have reviewed these tips and come up empty-handed as to what you have brought to the table, then perhaps you should reassess and determine how you can better improve, and ask your manager for constructive feedback in how best to do so.

If you feel your points are valid and strong, and you are turned down for a raise (or, receive less than you deserve), then ask your manager for feedback. Convey that you’re very appreciative of the recognition, and then discuss – professionally – that you were hoping for x amount. Your manager should discuss this with you openly and be able to give you feedback – if not cues – as to whether you will realistically hit your desired salary within your current position.

If you encounter any opposition to the discussion, you may be dealing with a more fearful employer who is uncomfortable with employees questioning policies and processes – which, you have to then decide if it is the best place for you and your career, anyhow.

Good luck!

 

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