Asking For And Getting A Raise At Work

We all want to be the queen (or king) of getting what we want at work. No one wants to be micromanaged, we don't want to be tied down to two weeks vacation a year and working a straight schedule is for the birds. But alas, sometimes we can't control these things. But once we settle on a job that we like one thing we can control is our paycheck. A lot of people say that if you have to ask for a raise it's time to get another job and while that may be true, it doesn't hurt to make a few extra bucks before you starting interviewing.

Either way, if you want something, you've gotta know how to ask for it and here's the best way to do that: 

1. Know Your Worth

    You know that voice in your head that sometimes tells you that you're good to be at your job? Sometimes it's wrong but most of the time it's totally right. I for one am at a job that's super convenient for me. Am I too good to be there? Yes and no. Yes because I can do the job of two positions above me with my eyes closed, and oftentimes it hurts when I see some (or A LOT) of the things that someone in their position (and pay grade) miss. But no because no one is too good to work for money. It doesn't matter if you're a trust fund kid or just happened to win the lotto, no one is too good to work, period.

Having said that, a lot of us sell ourselves short because we don't think we're good enough for something better or we're simply just coming off of years of being overworked and would rather not have a challenge. Either way it's super important to be aware of your skill set, the value that you bring to any situation, and whether or not you want to present yourself that way. Whenever you bring something new to the table, whether it's developing a new system or perfecting one, make a note of it and add it to the list of things you'll use to sell yourself on a higher salary when the time comes.

2. Be Prepared

Companies have policies so it's not always easy to ask for a (big) raise when you're up for a review, let alone when you're not. Being prepared will give you more confidence to walk into someones office and be taken seriously for asking for what you want. You never want someone to ask you why you think you deserve a raise because you should lay it out to them in 3-4 sentences. Start the conversation by telling them the amount that you want, acknowledge that you may have recently received an increase/you may be asking for more than the norm, list all the things that you and only you bring to the table (as well as the fact that you're the only one that can in the near future, if applicable), and remind them of how long you've worked for the company and why you're still there. By the end of this conversation the only thing that needs to be said is that they'll think about it because you've already answered all the questions that they would ask whenever anyone asks for a raise.

3. Have Confidence

Practice, practice, practice. Don't stutter. Don't apologize. Sit up straight. Make eye contact. And smile. Think back to all the times you've ever asked for something that someone wasn't voluntarily handing over. Did you get it easily or did you have to start whining for it? Chances are that if you started the conversation firm and self assured, you never had to get to the whining stage. And when you started off whining, you never got it and that's because you didn't believe that you deserved it, so why should anyone else? Any conversation with a higher up at work is nerve wracking and I've yet to meet a person that loves interviews or asking for a raise or promotion but we all have to do it so we might as well do it better than the next person. 

4. Be Realistic

Chances are that unless you're speaking directly to the CEO are you're the only one that can do what you do, you won't get the exact raise that you want. The person that you're probably going to speak to will not only have to take what you say into consideration, but they'll have to then sell it to their higher up who probably doesn't know much about you and what you've brought to the table. And even if the person you're speaking to can give you what they want most likely they won't because it means that they've given you the power to ask for things with extremely positive results.

5. Don't Make Threats

Don't. Just don't. Giving ultimatums at work never ends well and usually ends up with them calling your bluff. Plus, unless you already have another job lined you, you know that you can't afford to walk out of your current one if you don't get exactly what you want. When you get asked what you plan to do if you don't get what you're asking for the best thing to do is tell them that that will be a different conversation.This lets them know that you're not being a hothead and are threatening to walk out while still letting them know that it can totally happen. Keep in mind that if you've established yourself in a company your boss will know that your request for a raise comes from being unhappy with your current salary and that you don't want to just walk out, otherwise you'd be handing in your notice. But if you make any threats to leave they will forget all this and might end up telling you that they can't offer you more money and thank you for your time at the company. OUCH!

There you have it. Honestly, these days everything about selling yourself and making people look at things through your eyes. Your boss may never voluntarily praise you or offer you more money so this is why you've got to be your own cheerleader and walk into that conversation fighting for all the extra lattes that you're going to buy with your newfound wealth.