Asking for a raise tops the list of activities that make employees feel super icky. Some would rather move on to another company or even get a root canal than talk about money with their superiors.
But in all honesty, it is a conversation worth having because if it goes well, not only will you enjoy the perks of fatter compensation, you can also expect greater job satisfaction. It’s a tricky conversation at best, but you can avoid drawing yourself into a corner if you just don’t do these things:
1. Threaten to Leave
“If you don’t give me more money, I’m out of here.”
This is a major no-no, leaving the company should be your concealed back-up plan, not a weapon you wield against them. Instead, it’s a sure fire way to end up without a raise and a job.
Try being subtle about your intentions, show them that while you love working for them and have always given it your all, it’s difficult to keep your motivation if you aren’t being paid what you deserve. An all-or-nothing attitude is dangerous if you don’t actually plan to leave, because if the bosses call your bluff, you’ll be out of a job.
2. Surprise Your Boss
“Hey! So by the way, I’m going to need a big fat raise.”
Asking for a raise is a confidential matter that needs to be discussed behind closed doors. Don’t just spring your requests on your boss as you may be catching him or her at a bad time.
Surprise ninja attacks like these are more likely to get turned down. A better way would be to ask for a meeting in advance and tell them what it’s about; you’ll both be ready to discuss your options.
3. Be Unprepared
“I’m not sure how much more I need, but some is good.”
You need to do your homework or else you won’t make a very convincing case. Find out what you’re worth and be specific about what you want.
It’s not difficult to gauge the industry standard, simply go over job ads and see what companies in your field are willing to pay for a similar job description and qualifications.
4. Get Angry
“I deserve a raise, dammit!”
Things may not always go your way, and some bosses may even become disparaging when you start talking about money, but keeping your cool is a must. Even if you don’t get a raise or decide to leave the company, be sure to depart on good terms. It is a small world as they say and you don’t want to get a reputation for being a wild card and spoil future prospects.
5. Complain About Your Situation
“You have not given me a raise or promotion in almost…”
Giving them a history lesson is completely unnecessary because they most likely are quite aware of how much you are getting paid and how long it’s been since your last pay bump.
Go ahead and show them the strengths you bring to the table and chances are they become more receptive to you and your needs. Appearing confident and positive is much more persuasive than being whiny, wouldn’t you say?
6. Get Personal
“I need to buy a house, pay for my car, feed two dogs and three cats, and take my girlfriends out.”
Unfortunately, no one cares. Though it sounds harsh, remember that you agreed to work for an agreed sum. Benefits offered beyond that however, are at your company’s discretion.
If you hadn’t requested special compensations when you were hired, the possibilities of getting them now are slim. Instead, politely relay to your company the value you bring them and they may be more likely to consider your requests.
7. Accuse Them of Being Ungrateful
“This company has never appreciated all the good I’ve done”
Ever heard the expression, “you can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar”? Blaming or faulting your company is not going to get you what you want, no matter how satisfying it may feel.
In fact, you might wind up being resented and have a strained relationship as a result of your wage discussion. And that is not what you want, what you do want is more money, so be respectful and tactful at all times.
Note: Companies usually try to accommodate good employees whenever they can. However, if you are completely ignored or turned down for a mere discussion on the subject more than once, it could be a foreboding sign.
Now that you know what not to do, you can check out our tips on the best strategies and approaches you can take to have a successful negotiation for your raise. After that, you can breathe deeply and initiate the conversation. You’ve got this!