By: Bob Morand, President and Managing Partner
Let’s face it: you believe you are worth more to your employer than they’re paying you. However, you’re not quite sure how to go about asking for a raise. Dressing in tattered, second-hand clothing and living in a refrigerator box near the company entrance did more damage to your reputation than get the message across that you deserve more in compensation. So, then, what is the best approach in asking for a raise? First, do your homework – are you being compensated competitively?
Check out our website and see where you fall in the DW Simpson Salary Survey. Talk to a number of recruiters and ask them what is a competitive compensation level for someone at your exam level and with your years of experience. Ask peers in the industry the same questions. And, if at the end of the day, you realize you fall below market, prepare to make your case to your superior. Second, make the “asking for a raise” conversation easy on you and your superior.
Ask her/him to coffee before the start of the work day, letting her/him know that you’d like to get her/his valuable input on an aspect of your work. Approach the conversation with an upbeat attitude. Recite why you thoroughly enjoy working at the company before you build your case for a raise.
Then, build your case for a raise, citing the data that you derived from doing your homework. And then, ask for her/his thoughts, be quiet and listen. You might learn some things that you heretofore did not consider, particularly with regard to your overall work performance and its reflection on your compensation. If you’ve had a history of strong performance reviews, refer to them in a constructive (not defensive) way to help support your case. Remember, upbeat.
Finally, have a number in mind. If you’re at $74K base salary and your homework tells you that, at your level, you should be in the $80K – $90K range, ask for a precise number…confidently. More often than not, a reasonable superior will take your request into consideration, especially if it’s presented in a factual manner and without a “line-in-the-sand” attitude. And when your raise is approved, thank your superior, discard the refrigerator box in the nearest dumpster and take yourself clothes shopping. You deserve it.