We all want higher pay. That is a given of our nature at a workplace. If we can get more, we will try to get more. But just how to get more can be tricky. You know that you have to face your bosses for the increase in pay, but how can you do that while not jeopardizing future attempts at a raise (if it can’t be done now) or jeopardizing your job in general?
Don’t Come In Guns Blazing
It is usually best to give the managers or higher-ups a heads up regarding your request for a pay raise. It is also advisable to remind yourself that you are coming into said meeting essentially asking them to hand over more money than they currently do. Managers and bosses often do some of their own accounting. Even if they do not, their accounting representative usually keeps them abreast of the amounts being spent on salary. In either case, it is best not to come into the meeting so fired up that you seem aggressive and over-the-top. Come into the meeting with the demeanor of someone cool and confident, and someone who has simply come to a reasonable conclusion that soon they will reach as well. It is not a crime to ask for more money, but if you come in with guns blazing, the bosses may feel like it is a robbery. If they do, they are much less likely to part with the extra cash.
Be Fully Prepared
Before you enter into a meeting about gaining higher pay, realize that you have to know everything that higher pay requires. Whether or not higher pay comes with a change of title, it certainly will be accompanied by a higher level of responsibilities. Very rarely does an increase in pay come without some form of a larger amount of workload or more focus-intensive work to be done. It may also require that you will have to increase your hours, or add a higher margin of productivity to the current set of hours. Regardless of which of these (or other caveats) there may be hinged to the possible pay raise, it is important that you note them and are prepared to talk in length and detail regarding them. Do not place yourself into a meeting where not only are you not ready to pitch yourself as a strong worker, but you are not even sure how you will justify the higher pay. Take your time to learn what it is you are asking for and how who you are as a worker will lend itself to justifying the pay raise. It is also good to have an idea of how much (or what) you will be asking for at the meeting. Do not get caught off guard and no idea what it is you are haggling for.
Think Of What Can You Offer
When you know what it is that you want it is time to lay out what it is that makes you a viable candidate for a raise. Do not focus on qualities you possess just yet; instead, try to focus on what it is that you have and are doing for the company. Note any specific successes that you have had in your current position. It is also useful to bring up any past experience wherein you were given increases in wage and responsibility. Remind the bosses and decision makers why it is you are great employee in the first place. Allow them to begin to formulate the conclusion that they should give you a raise without having to say it yourself. Making a comprehensive list of the work you do, the extra work you take on when asked, and any accomplishments you have had in the workplace can give you that edge you need when talking over a wage hike.
Emphasize Your Specific Qualities
Once you have your basic work-related ammo, it is time to move on to the intangible qualities you have. Supplement any work-related accomplishments with emphasis on the skillsets that allowed you to achieve such goals. Do not be afraid to hammer home specific qualities that managers love in a worker. Skills such as dedication, willingness to take on new work, and accountability are all great skills that should be underlined in every account of your quality workmanship.
Know When To Say Yes
Once you have listed all the qualities and accomplishments, it is time to lead your bosses toward the same conclusion you have; namely, that you are worth more than what you are currently being paid. It is important not to come into the meeting with specific figure to give to them. While it is advisable to know how much you want to ask for, do not come into a meeting with a hardline number and certainly do not tell your bosses the amount that you think you deserve. Instead, allow the bosses to throw out numbers and you can act in accordance to whether or not you believe it is enough. If the numbers they start with are too low, reemphasize the work you have done and the skills you possess. Most companies will start with a low-ball number and act as if they could not possibly do more. Quite often, this is a classic bluff, and if you do not accept right away they will up the amount. A good rule of thumb is to not advance past two increases. Once the second increase comes in, you are likely not to see a higher number. That being said, if you feel you can get more do so. Just remember they can decide to pull all the money off the table if you are too stubborn.
As with many things in life, one of the keys to getting a pay increase is preparation. Nevertheless, do not undersell the need to do well at your job to begin with. A strong work ethic and dependability are the cornerstones of getting a boss to say yes to a pay increase.
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