How to Prepare to Ask for a Raise (Part 3)

In this final part of the series were going to put everything we’ve learned about STAR tracking and Managing Up to use and discuss the best way to present your case for a pay raise.

Most people can certainly do with a bit more money these days. Money is seen as a solution to many problems, and while having more money can certainly remove many stressors in life, as the old adage goes, Money can’t buy happiness.

BEFORE you ask for a raise consider these questions:

  • Are you actually happy at your job? If not, let us help you land that dream job with career counselling or a new resume!
  • Do you know and understand your value? If not, refer back to Part 1 and Part 2 of this series.
  • Are you ready to negotiate a fair value for your output?
  • Do you have a number in mind?

If the answer to any of the above points is no, then you still have some work to do before approaching your boss. If you answered yes to all 4, let the negotiations begin!

You’ve identified your targets and deliveries each week, calculated your commercial value, and enquired about development opportunities. You’ve put in the work to ensure that you’re asking for a fair raise to reflect the work you’re putting in. Now what? I promise that this exercise has all been worth it.

Now that you’ve done everything possible to put yourself in a position of bargaining power, it’s time to make your case. Let’s discuss some negotiation tips you can use to get the ball rolling for your new paycheque.

Some companies still hold onto that old relic of a thought that it’s taboo to discuss your payrates at work. This is a commonly used tactic to lowball some employees to save money. That being said, there is hope to improve your situation. You’ve now spent time collecting evidence that your value to the company is much higher than what you’re being paid.

The first step will be to non-confrontationally approach your manager and open the discussion with evidence of your accomplishments and engagement. You already asked your employer for ways in which you can improve yourself in your role, make their lives easier, and increase your value. The seeds were sewn and now it’s time to harvest. Demonstrate that your performance has been such that you feel the company can afford X amount of dollars annually (or hourly) based on your commercial value. Having a starting number is really important because it not only starts the negotiation process on your terms, but also because it demonstrates the level of thought you’ve put into your work. You know you’re worth that amount and you’ve got the KPIs to prove it.

Next, be prepared to hear no or to hear a counteroffer and plan your responses to both. Are you willing to leave your position if you do not get a raise? Consider this very carefully because threatening to leave your role for another company can rarely be walked back. A less extreme response would be to once again ask what you can do to increase your value to the company. How can you make this raise worthwhile? Can something be added to your day? Maybe your manager needs time to sit on it and reach the same conclusion you have. It’s also possible that something new for you to work on popped up and they don’t feel you’re quite ready yet. Use this information as a bargaining chip, not a nail in the coffin of your pay increase dreams.

Counteroffer with a compromise, for example, increasing your pay by half your requested amount for 3, 6, or 12 months while you prove you’re ready for the next half. Alternatively, set a date for a future discussion and indicate that you will prove to them that within a set amount of time you will achieve and maintain the goals discussed and at that point in time you would like to readdress the pay rate. Having thoughtful and logical responses in mind (write them down if you have to!) will prevent you from becoming emotionally unable to speak up for yourself and will give you that extra confidence boost needed to approach your boss.

Let’s face it. Asking for a raise can be scary! But with a little preparation you’ll feel much better about it. Careful thought and planning can’t be replaced in this process. And remember, if you threaten to take your talents elsewhere, be sure you mean to follow through with that. Some employers do not know the true value of their employees, even when presented with the facts. It’s unfortunate but now that you know yours, you have some options. Still have questions or need extra help with your resume? We’re here for you! Book a free consultation today.

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