You sit down at your annual review. Your supervisor goes over your performance and gives you glowing reviews. You’re feeling confident. They look at you and say, “Thank you for your dedication and hard work.” You pause a beat, then ask, “Can I have a raise?” …. crickets.
It’s the time of the year when pay raises are kicking in. You know you’re worth a higher salary but when it comes to asking for a raise, you don’t know how to do it. The days of not knowing are over. Read on to find out exactly what to say to get the raise you want.
Make a Plan
Getting the raise you want requires you to do some homework before you go in for your meeting.
Start by knowing what you do. How is this different than when you first started? How have you added value within your position and the organization? Many companies have no tools in place to measure your performance which leaves the task to you. A self-evaluation should also include a general assessment of your strengths – are you the company’s expert on something or the go-to technical person?
Have clarity on the value you provide for your company and practice what you are going to say!
Choose the Right Time
The best time to ask for a raise is during your annual review. If your company doesn’t have a review process, schedule a meeting with your manager.
If your company is coming off a bad quarter come review time, and you know a raise is not possible, you can negotiate for incentive compensation, stock options, extra vacation, or education benefits. These can offset a lower raise offer. You could also consider postponing “the ask”.
Sometimes what you did throughout the year will be dramatic enough that you should still be able to get the raise you want regardless of the company’s financial standing!
Execute the Plan
You’ve done your homework and you’ve made a case for your value. The timing is right and you’re ready. There are three outcomes to the meeting:
1. You get a positive review; your supervisor agrees with you about the value you bring to the company and you got the raise you wanted! Congratulations!
2. You get a positive review; your supervisor agrees with you about the value you bring to the company BUT it’s not in the budget this year! There are also no work arounds with additional stock, bonus, or vacation.
3. You get a negative review; your supervisor does not agree with you about the value you bring to the company. No raise.
If you did not get the raise you want, we have some advice.
If your supervisor agrees that you did a stellar job, but there is no money in the budget, come to an agreement on a timeline when the raise will take place. When the company hits the level of profitability you have agreed on, the raise will happen without an additional review.
If you did not get the review you were looking for, make sure to come to an agreement with your supervisor on the specific areas of improvement needed to ensure this does not happen again.
Let us know what happened!
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