How to Ask for a Raise
Wouldn’t it be nice if we all got a raise as often as gasoline prices go up these days? Or even as often as the price of a loaf of bread goes up?
Unfortunately, that’s just not going to happen and the best way to get a raise is to ask for one. Even as easy as that seems to be, it’s not an easy thing to do and many of us dread the prospect.
Knowing how to ask for a raise often means the difference between success and maintaining the status quo. The interview process that landed the job in the first place is probably the most critical conversation ever conducted with an employer but the next most critical conversation is probably asking for a raise.
How to ask for a raise and get one often depends on timing. You are feeling the financial squeeze at the gas pump, the grocery store, and everywhere else you and your family goes but so is your boss. Not only does he or she have to worry about the financial stability of his or her own family, there’s also the added burden of keeping the company afloat. After all, almost every business in America is experiencing the same kind of money woes its employees are.
If your company is announcing layoffs, hiring freezes, and downsizes, how to ask for a raise effectively might mean holding off for a while. Most supervisors consider downsizing for any reason an unpleasant task and they’re probably focusing their energies on getting through this. It’s just plain old bad timing to ask for more money at a time when others are losing their income altogether.
If your company seems to be maintaining a stable financial outlook, how to ask for a raise might still depend upon timing. Wait until it’s time for your annual review, be prepared to document your accomplishments and achievements that have occurred over the previous year in a way that identifies your merit to the company, and try to schedule your evaluation for early afternoon. Psychological studies say we’re most agreeable just after lunch so try to schedule the most important meetings for shortly after your boss has been well fed.
Remember that how to ask for a raise and get it means the company benefits. Your time as an employee is all about the company. It may be true that you’ve moved into a larger house, have kids in college now, or want to tour Europe on vacation but these are all personal issues. Your company cannot take your personal choices into account when budgeting payroll issues. Don’t bring personal issues to the table when asking for a raise. The conversation should remain business oriented at all times.
How to ask for a raise also depends on emotional state. Never initiate or pursue this conversation when you are angry, hurt, frustrated, or in any other emotionally charged state. You must present yourself as open-minded and understanding but worthy of the company’s investment.
Another very important consideration to keep in mind when pondering how to ask for a raise is that there is just as much chance that this question, like almost all questions, will be met by a “yes” answer as it is likely to be met with a “no” answer. Asking may mean a raise but it also may mean no raise at this time. However, failing to ask for one is a sure-fire guarantee that there will be no raise.