How To Ask For A Raise: Do You Deserve A Pay Raise?

Carl Mueller

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The question of how to ask for a raise is one that many people are unsure about answering.

You can’t simply ask for a raise because you need more money to support your lifestyle.

Before you determine how to ask for a raise, you need to figure out if you deserve one.

Certainly, going to your boss and asking for a raise can be a subject that people are hesitant to do. Some people prefer to think that every year their boss will simply give them a pay raise without them having to ask for it and the problem will be solved.

This strategy doesn’t always work. If you don’t ask for a raise, your boss might assume you are happy with what you are earning. Afterall, if you weren’t happy you’d simply ask for a raise, wouldn’t you?

The salary we earn is a personal issue and is one of those topics that many people don’t like discussing with other people, even their friends and in many cases, with their boss.

Nobody wants to be told that they are underpaid or that they earn less than their friends or their co-workers especially if they are doing the same job.

The compensation that a company pays a person is determined by a number of factors and typically they include the experience and skills that the person brings to the table as well as the supply and demand for each ie. how difficult is it to find a person with this experience and skills?

However, our ability to negotiate can also play an important factor in how much money we earn.

This includes the issue of how to ask for a raise.

The question of how to ask for a raise is best answered with a structured approach that has several steps and considerations:

    1. Document why you deserve a raise.

    Make a list of all your recent accomplishments that lead you to believe you deserve a pay raise. Do your research and find out how much people doing your job with a similar level of experience and skills are getting paid. You need to arm yourself with factual information that you will use when you meet with your boss to ask for a raise. How to ask for a raise is a question answered only after you have documented why you deserve one.

    2. Determine the amount of the raise that you should ask for.

    Determine the amount of the raise you will ask for based on your experience, skills and recent accomplishments. You need to figure out a reasonable amount to ask for that is commensurate with your experience and skills and your value to the company. Look for salary surveys that indicate how much your job typically pays in other companies. Also look on Internet job boards for similar jobs to yours to see what other companies are offering in the way of salary. (Not only will you see what other companies are paying people like yourself, you might find a suitable job to apply for if you can’t get a raise!)

    3. Determine the best time to ask for a raise.

    Keep several things in mind when asking for a raise that relates to the timing of your request:

  • Is your company in a good financial position currently that can support giving you a pay raise?
  • Can you approach your boss at this time to ask for a raise or does he/she have other pressing issues that might hurt your chances for a pay raise presently?
  • Have you recently accomplished anything outstanding that gives you extra ammunition to ask for a raise? Alternatively, have you underachieved in any areas recently that would hurt your chances?
  • When does your company normally offer a pay raise to employees? If company year-end is approaching and they typically offer pay raises at this time, you might wait until this time has passed before asking for a raise since you might be getting one anyways.
  • 4. Keep it professional.

    When you approach your boss to ask for a raise, remember to use the research you did earlier to justify why you deserve one. Don’t focus on your personal requirements for more money.

If you plan on approaching your boss to ask for a raise, you need to focus on why you deserve the raise, not on why you need one. You expensive lifestyle is of no concern to your employer, but your value to them is.

The question of how to ask for a raise is answered by arming yourself with factual information. If you are denied a raise, consider the reason(s) given by your boss before figuring out what to do next.

If you truly feel you deserved a pay raise and don’t believe you will be getting one from your current employer any time soon, your next step might be to look for a new job.

Looking for a new job simply for monetary reasons is never ideal but at the end of the day, you will need to decide if you are undervalued by your employer and if you feel there are better options for you elsewhere.

Carl Mueller is an Internet entrepreneur and professional recruiter who wants to help you find your dream career.

Visit Carl's website to separate yourself from other job searchers:

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Ezine editors/Webmasters: Please feel free to reprint this article in its entirety in your ezine or on your website. Please don’t change any of the content and please ensure that you include the above bio that shows my website URL. If you would like me to address any specific career topics in future articles, please let me know.


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