When you feel like your paychecks aren’t reflecting the workload you have or the performance you provide for your employer, it’s time to ask for a raise. But how? Wanting a raise, asking for it, and getting it are 3 totally separate things, and most of the time it’s how you approach the raise situation that will leave you with more money in your pocket.
If you have been at your employment for at least 3 months and feel like you should be getting the raise you feel you deserve, approach your boss when they are not busy and alert them kindly that you have been working at your job for “a while now” and are wondering if you could get an EVALUATION. No employee asks for an evaluation of their work unless they’re hunting for higher pay, and any boss worth their weight in beans knows this. It’s a polite way of saying “I want more money, Mr. Boss Man!” without coming across as greedy or overconfident.
When you do get your evaluation, ask the questions that lead to a raise, like “How do you think I have been doing?” “Do you feel I am ready for more responsibility” “Are there things I should be working on?” and if you feel you are doing a great job, say so. Let your boss know that you have been enjoying the new experiences, and let them know if you feel you are ready for more responsibility and what you would like to be venturing into. Your boss is evaluating you particularly because you asked, and that in itself goes a long way. Also, getting the one-on-one conversation about your performance with your boss puts you both in a prime situation to realize your worth. Once your boss sees your potential and growth and willingness to continue working there happily, they will want to compensate you with an appropriate raise according to your work.
It’s the employees who outright demand or ask for a raise who don’t get them. The main reason for this is that they demand or ask for raises that are far and beyond what their position or performance level is willing to pay. When you go to your boss and ask for a raise, their red flag goes up, and they are already thinking about how they are going to battle and haggle with you on the raise amount (if any) and if you’re not actually ready for a raise in their eyes they are mentally preparing for your freakout when they tell you “no”. It is best if you are going to ask for a raise outright that you approach it this way- simply ask if you can have an evaluation and possibly discuss a raise. This puts your boss at ease and lets them know that you have reasonable expectations for how much of a raise you may be getting.
If the raise you are being offered isn’t enough in your eyes, say so, but gently. Suggest that you believe your performance level is worth a bit more than a 10 cent raise, or point out that you have been taking on more responsibility in the company and thought that the monetary compensation would be a little more. You can ask your employer why they chose to gave you the amount of the raise they did to gain a better understanding. A great way to combat a smaller raise is to say, “What can I do to make this raise a bit more rewarding?” It likely may be that they have to keep you in a smaller earning bracket than your superiors and your wages are already close so you don’t get a larger raise. It could be your company just can’t afford it, or that there is a cap on how much you can make in your particular position. Whatever the reasoning may be, if you freak out over a teeny raise or a denial of a raise you’ve completely blown your chances of getting one in the near future, if ever.
The last thing you should do when inquiring about a raise is bringing up similar companies that would hire you for more money, or in mentioning that you know so-and-so is making more money and has been working there at the company for less time than you. These are threats to your employer, and they will likely let you know that it’s none of your business what your coworkers make, and that if you can make more money elsewhere, then what are you still doing here?
If you truly feel you should be getting a raise and you haven’t gotten one, or have been promised one but you haven’t seen it reflected yet, pull your boss aside again and inquire about your most recent evaluation and any raises that were discussed. Simply saying “You told me to talk to you in 2 weeks to discuss possibly getting a raise” puts you back in that one-on-one conversation about your performance and workability and lets your boss know you are serious about getting a raise and really feel like you deserve one. Once again, point out your strengths and good performance to show you do deserve a raise. The bottom line is, if you’re a worthy employee your company will typically go to monetary lengths to keep you and pay you what you’re worth.
But sometimes, if you approach getting a raise the wrong way, they may point you to the unemployment line, no matter how great at your job you are.